City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett

Caitlin's picture

Shara Divani is a spy with a job: find out who killed her protégé, Professor Efram Pangyui, and why. Her suspect pool encompasses the entire city of Bulikov, once the heart of a vast empire guarded by six omnipotent gods, and now a defeated and occupied city seething with resentful citizens and endless plots. With only a week before she’s recalled, Divani must rely on her terrifying “secretary” Sigurd and a cast of colorful supporting characters in order to discover the truth about what happened to Pangyui—and whether the gods of Bulikov are quite as dead as they seem.

Vividly imagined and skillfully executed, City of Stairs will appeal to readers of Tom Rob Smith and N.K. Jemisin alike.

In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

Scott's picture

Ice, the final frontier.  Long before the space race came the race to discover the polar regions.  Many men led expeditions to the Arctic hoping to be the first to claim it for their country. Theories abounded as to what the explorers would find. “In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette ” by Hampton Sides briefly tells of some of these journeys  but it focuses on one of them.  The USS Jeannette, led by Commanding Officer DeLong, and her crew headed north out of San Francisco in the late 1800s well-equipped to face the Arctic weather. Or so they thought. The crew experienced many life threatening conditions including having the ship frozen in ice for months, blizzards, snow-blindness, hunger, and 58 degrees below zero temperatures.  I highly recommend this book but it may be best to grab a blanket when reading about the freezing adventures of the USS Jeannette and her crew.  

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Hari's picture

As a journalist writing for a travel magazine, Lo Blacklock has just received her first big professional break. She’s covering a new luxury cruise ship that has a handful of cabins while it travels around the Norwegian fjords for a week. Things get off to a rocky start when Lo meets a woman in cabin 10, which is next to hers, who’s less than excited to meet her. Then in the middle of the night after something awakens her, Lo hears a loud splash—like a body hitting water. She stumbles to her private balcony in an alcohol-induced haze and sees a dark, oily smear on cabin 10’s glass safety barrier. It looks a lot like blood. Lo’s attempts to have this mysterious event investigated while at sea leads nowhere, largely it appears, due to her self-medicating with alcohol—witnessed by many on board. It doesn’t help that word gets out she also takes anti-anxiety medication and has for years. Is something going on here or is it all in Lo’s mind? Filled with surprising twists and turns, this book will keep you guessing until the end.

Distopian Novels for Teens: Willful Machines

Have a Happy New Year now because, in a near-future America, a sentient computer program named Charlotte will turn into a terrorist. Lee, the son of an ultraconservative President, is more concerned with keeping his Secret Service detail from finding out about his developing romance with Nico, the new guy at school, than Charlotte. However, when the spider-like robots that roam the school halls begin acting even stranger than usual, Lee realizes he is Charlotte's next target.

Juvenile Recommendation: Operation Bunny

Mystery, magic, and fairies meet in Wings & Co. When Emily, an orphaned foundling, inherits a mysterious shop, she is dropped into a world of talking cats, multiplying bunnies, missing fairy wings, living keys, and magic! It is up to her and her new friends to solve the many mysteries that surround them. (Recommended ages: 3rd-5th)


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