Category Archives: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Be Prepared. Read More SciFi.

Do you feel like you’re living in a SciFi novel?? Now might be a great time to read or listen to some Science Fiction while you’re staying home and staying safe. Here are a few suggestions that you can download from Overdrive with your Fairfield Public Library card.

Title details for The Testaments by Margaret Atwood - Available

THE TESTAMENTS
By Margaret Atwood

“Atwood’s confident, magnetic sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale details the beginning of the end for Gilead, the authoritarian religion-touting dystopia where fertile single women (handmaids) live in sexual servitude…Atwood’s eminently rewarding sequel revels in the energy of youth, the shrewdness of old age, and the vulnerabilities of repressive regimes..” ~Publisher’s Weekly

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Passengers by John Marrs - Available

THE PASSENGERS
By John Marrs

“The future appears to be steering toward autonomous cars, and in Marrs’s story, the implementation of driverless automobiles has become a reality. Nobody drives themselves around anymore. Eight different folks from varying backgrounds are about to start their day by getting into one of these vehicles so they can get to their various destinations. For each one of these people, the doors lock and a voice comes over the computer and tells them they are about to die… No one will want to ride in one of these cars after reading this terrifying thriller…Don’t pass this novel by.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson - Available

ROBOPOCALYPSE
By Daniel H. Wilson

“Ever thought that technology was out to get you? In Wilson’s thriller, it happens 20 years from now, when a powerful artificial intelligence called Archos rises up to kill its creator and then takes control of technology worldwide. In a matter of moments every piece of equipment turns against humanity—which ends up united for the first time ever.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway - Available

THE GONE-AWAY WORLD
By Nick Harkaway

“In a postapocalyptic world made so by a weapon whose evil-genius creator didn’t quite think through the complications of actually using it, a man makes a journey of self-discovery that is unlike anything we’ve seen before…at the heart of The Gone-Away World is a meditation on the very nature of what makes us human. Funny, digressive, dark, and possibly optimistic, Harkaway’s debut displays ingredients of Catch-22, Dr. Strangelove, and The Road Warrior with maybe a pinch of Pynchon and a sprinkling of Vonnegut.” ~Booklist
*Staff Favorite

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Blackout by Connie Willis - Available

BLACKOUT
By Connie Willis

“Three history researchers, all time travelers from the future, find themselves trapped in England during World War II when they discover that the portals to their own times have disappeared…Willis is a consummate storyteller whose immersive style hooks readers from the start; her latest work, which is being published in two parts (see below), should appeal to a wide readership and be a particular draw for her devoted followers.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for All Clear by Connie Willis - Available

ALL CLEAR
By Connie Willis

“Traveling back in time, from Oxford circa 2060 into the thick of World War II, was a routine excursion for three British historians eager to study firsthand the heroism and horrors of the Dunkirk evacuation and the London Blitz. But getting marooned in war-torn 1940 England has turned Michael Davies, Merope Ward, and Polly Churchill from temporal tourists into besieged citizens struggling to survive Hitler’s devastating onslaught…The thrilling time-tripping adventure that began with Blackout now hurtles to its stunning resolution in All Clear.” ~PRH

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick - Available

THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE
By Philip K. Dick

“It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.
This harrowing, Hugo Award–winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.” ~Amazon.com

“The single most resonant and carefully imagined book of Dick’s career.” ~New York Times

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Armada by Ernest Cline - Available

ARMADA
By Ernest Cline

“In his second geek-coming-of-age tale, Cline presents Zack Lightman, a teen with anger issues obsessed with his late father, who left behind some rocking mixed tapes and notebooks delineating a wild conspiracy theory about the truth embedded in popular science fiction novels, movies, and videogames. When Zack looks out a school window and sees an alien spacecraft just like those he shoots down so decisively while playing the online alien-invaders videogame, Armada (he’s ranked sixth best player in the world), he fears he’s losing his mind. Readers, however, will feel confident that they’re in for another hard-charging adventure that blasts open the barrier between the actual and the virtual.” ~Booklist

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - Available

STATION ELEVEN
By Emily St. John Mandel

“Mandel’s ambitious, magnificent fourth novel examines the collapse of civilization after a deadly flu wipes out most of the world’s population…Mandel’s vision is not only achingly beautiful but also startlingly plausible, exposing the fragile beauty of the world we inhabit. In the burgeoning postapocalyptic literary genre, Mandel’s transcendent, haunting novel deserves a place alongside The Road, The Passage, and The Dog Stars.” ~Booklist
*Staff Favorite

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson - Available

CRYPTONOMICON
By Neal Stephenson

“Computer expert Randy Waterhouse spearheads a movement to create a safe haven for data in a world where information equals power and big business and government seek to control the flow of knowledge. His ambitions collide with a top-secret conspiracy with links to the encryption wars of World War II and his grandfather’s work in preventing the Nazis from discovering that the Allies had cracked their supposedly unbreakable Enigma code…Stephenson’s freewheeling prose and ironic voice lend a sense of familiarity to a story that transcends the genre and demands a wide readership among fans of technothrillers as well as a general audience. Highly recommended.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel - Available

SLEEPING GIANTS
By Sylvain Neuvel

“An inventive tale inventively told, Sleeping Giants is designed for people who like to take things apart and put them back together. Its jigsaw-puzzle narrative style works as a mirror for the project at the story’s center: the gathering and assembly of the scattered pieces of a huge and mysterious robot. But the real appeal of the book—the debut novel of Sylvain Neuvel, a Canadian linguist and software engineer—is the way in which putting together the robot tears apart the lives of the people involved. The book, like its namesake, is an elegant blend of technology and biology.” ~BookPage

For more information, please click here.

 

 

Escape Into a Fantasy With a Digital Book

Escape into a Fantasy novel while you’re staying home and staying safe. Here are some of the most popular digital titles, both e-books and audio books, which you can download from Overdrive with your Fairfield Public Library card.

Title details for The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty - Available

THE CITY OF BRASS
By S. A. Chakraborty

“This lyrical historical fantasy debut brings to vivid life the ancient mythological traditions of an Islamic world unfamiliar to most American readers. Chakraborty’s grasp of Middle Eastern history, folklore, and culture inspires a swiftly moving plot, richly drawn characters, and a beautifully constructed world that will entrance fantasy aficionados.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Girl in Red by Christina Henry - Available

THE GIRL IN RED
By Christina Henry

“Henry’s sharp, unsettling rendition of “Little Red Riding Hood” explores whether a healthy sense of paranoia and extensive knowledge of horror fiction rules will increase Red’s chances of post-pandemic survival, especially given her increased vulnerability due to her gender and prosthetic leg…Henry (Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook) satisfyingly upends the familiar tale of a clever girl, a dangerous wolf, and a brave savior, and folklore fans will enjoy this bloody near-future variation on a familiar theme.” ~Publisher’s Weekly

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne - Available

KILL THE FARM BOY
By Kevin Hearne & Delilah S. Dawson

Dawson and Hearne topple the tropes of the young man’s adventure quest and the fairy tale in this joyous, hilarious tale. While preparing to deal with his daily barnyard drudgery shoveling the dung of assorted animals, a farm boy named Worstley is anointed the Chosen One by a filthy, foul-mouthed, drunken pixie. Soon Worstley is off to find his destiny, accompanied by a smart-aleck talking goat named Gustave…This one is for readers who enjoy farcical fairy tales, rollicking good times, and plenty of groan-worthy puns and literary references.” ~Booklist

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik - Available

SPINNING SILVER
By Naomi Novik

“This gorgeous, complex, and magical novel, grounded in Germanic, Russian, and Jewish folklore but richly overlaid with a cohesive, creative story of its own, rises well above a mere modern re- imagining of classic tales… This is the kind of book that one might wish to inhabit forever.” ~Publisher’s Weekly

For more information, please click here.

Title details for A Hard Day's Knight by Simon R. Green - Available

A HARD DAY’S KNIGHT
By Simon R. Green

“This is Green’s most recent novel of the Nightside, a hidden part of London populated by creatures who never see the light of day. John Taylor is a Nightside PI who specializes in finding things. But something has just found him: Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur himself… With plenty of action packed in from London to Glastonbury, fun characters, and outrageous villains, A Hard Day’s Knight should definitely please fantasy action fans.” ~Booklist

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo - Available

THE GHOST BRIDE
By Yangsze Choo

Choo’s remarkably strong and arresting first novel explores the concept of Chinese spirit marriages in late-nineteenth-­century Malaya through the eyes of the highly relatable Li Lan, a poor but spunky young woman, who is approached by the wealthy family of a dead man to become his bride… With its gripping tangles of plot and engaging characters, this truly compelling read is sure to garner much well-deserved attention.” ~Booklist                                        Will appeal to historical fiction lovers, too! ~Sue, Circulation

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch - Available

THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA
By Scott Lynch

On a distant world, orphan Locke Lamora is sold into a crew of thieves and con artists. Soon his natural gifts make him an underworld celebrity, leader of the flamboyantly larcenous Gentleman Bandits. But there is someone who covets Locke’s talents, his success, his very life, forcing him to put everything on the line to protect himself… Fans of lavishly appointed fantasy will be in seventh heaven here, but it will be nearly as popular with readers of literary crime fiction. This is a true genre bender, at home on almost any kind of fiction shelf.” ~Booklist

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - Available

OUTLANDER
By Diana Gabaldon

“Time-travel stories that combine swashbuckling adventure, romance, and vivid historical details don’t get any better than Gabaldon’s now classic debut…With vividly drawn, relatable characters and a respectful, loving eye for the history of the Scottish Highlands, Gabaldon’s Outlander series launch is a lush, romantic epic.” ~ Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith - Available

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER
By Seth Grahame-Smith

“From the man who brought you Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: a tale of Lincoln, who discovered that his mother was chewed to death by the local vampire. Hence his secret agenda to rid the world of bloodsuckers. Undoubtedly, there will be protests, and, undoubtedly, this will be huge.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon - Available

THE BONE SEASON
By Samantha Shannon

“We are the minority the world does not accept,” Paige Mahoney tells us, referring to the struggles of clairvoyants, from soothsayers and mediums to her own high standing as a dreamwalker…An energetic, multifaceted print and online campaign, including viral teaser trailers, will launch this exciting debut, the first in a thoughtful fantasy series by a brilliant young writer.” ~Kirkus

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks - Available

WARDS OF FAERIE
By Terry Brooks

“Researching magic in the books and scrolls housed below the palace, young Elven Druid Aphenglow Elessedil discovers a diary that recounts a forbidden romance between an Elven girl and a Darkling boy and hints at the fate of the long-vanished Elfstones. As troubled times return to the Four Lands and a tyrannical human-centered Federation seeks to dominate the other Races, Aphenglow sets herself a dangerous task—to follow the clues left in the diary and uncover magic that might save her people and her world.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley - Available

THE FIREBIRD
By Susanna Kearsley

“Nicola Marter’s Russian grandfather was tortured for his gift of psychometry, so she’s hidden her own talent for years, but she may have to risk sharing it to help another… Kearsley blends history, romance and a bit of the supernatural into a glittering, bewitching tale.” ~Kirkus

For more information, please click here.

“Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.” ~ E.B. White

Every Heart a Doorway

Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: Tor, April 2016

Summary/Review: If you have always wanted to try a Fantasy novel but did not know where to start, you might like to try EVERY HEART A DOORWAY, the first installment in the Wayward Children series.

Nancy is the newest student to arrive at Eleanor West’s Home For Wayward Children, a school filled with children and teens who have suffered the same fate as she. All have returned, somehow, from the fantasy worlds they accidentally discovered and all of them want to find their way back. Their friends and families cannot understand their unhappiness and do not know what to think about the strange stories the children tell about these other worlds. Surely, these stories cannot be true. So the children are sent to Eleanor West who promises to help them heal. Unbeknownst to them, Eleanor knows all too well that the stories are true. She, too, has a desire to return to her secret world when the time is right. Though not everyone will be able to return (some doors are closed forever), Eleanor and her staff can help the children make the most of their lives in the real world.

Shortly after Nancy’s arrival, tragedy strikes one of the students at the school. And then another. Fear grips the students and staff and soon accusations start to fly. Who is responsible for the terrible crimes and how can they be stopped?

A short but engaging novel, it is part mystery, fantasy, and just good story telling. Perfect for adults and older teens, EVERY HEART A DOORWAY has won several awards including the 2017 Hugo Award, 2017 Alex Award, 2017 Locus Award, and the 2016 Nebula Award. DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES is the next title in the Wayward Children series, and BENEATH THE SUGAR SKY, the third book, is due out in January 2018.

Who will like this book: For readers of C.S. Lewis and those who read and liked MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs.

Recommended by: Sue B., Circulation

If you would like to check our catalog or place a hold on this book, please click here.

The Martian

[Cover]

Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group, 2011

Summary/Review: To understand why you will enjoy this novel let’s start with the author. Andy Weir was hired as a computer programmer for a national laboratory at age 15. He is a self-described science geek who actually created and programmed a Mars mission in order to make this story as realistic as possible. His grasp of all things outer space, scientific and NASA is truly breathtaking. He actually received a book and a movie deal within weeks of each other.

We meet the hero of the story, who I could not help but thinking of as Matt Damon, who stars in the movie, as he wakes up from a dust storm catastrophe as a member of a manned mission to Mars. He is all alone and wonders why he isn’t dead. The rest of the crew has lost touch with him an assumes that he is dead. He is incredibly resourceful as he creates, seemingly out of thin air, methods to produce water, oxygen and to grow potatoes to provide sufficient calories to sustain him for the years he figures he will have to wait for even a remote chance of rescue.

Time and again the poor guy has to react to the unforgiving climate and the unexpected consequences of his solutions to an unending list of problems of everyday life, any one of which could kill him. Along the way he hatches plans to modify the Mars surface rover vehicle to allow him to reclaim a probe from a previous mission and hot-wire it to make radio contact with Earth, and other McGiver-like scientific sleight-of-hand just to make it to the next day.

An unexpected pleasure of this book is how funny it is as he talks to himself and then to NASA about the problems of surviving and maintaining a minimum level of sanity as he survives alone for years. He watches lots of 70’s era television shows, listens to Disco music and reads detective novels, all left behind after the first of the many catastrophes he endures.

This is an exceptionally interesting and funny read. You will only be disappointed when it ends.

Who will like this book?:  This book was recently made into a movie, so if you’ve seen it and enjoyed it of course you should read the book!  Someone looking for a funny book that’s written about a serious topic.

If you like this, try this:  This is Andy Weir’s first novel, but you can expect more from him after the success of The Martian. It’s rated 4.38 of over 250,000 reviews on Goodreads –  if that doesn’t convince him to write again nothing will! There are a slew of space novels available, but none hit the funny mark quite like Andy Weir.  If you’re looking for funny science fiction, try Ernest Cline or the classic Douglas Adams.

Recommended by:  Mark Z, guest reviewer

If this looks like a book you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!

 

Queen of the Tearling

[Cover]

Title: The Queen of the Tearling

Author: Erika Johansen

Publisher: HarperCollins, 2014

Summary / Review:    On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, nine of the Queen’s Guard  arrive at the remote cottage that has been her home to escort her to New London and her new life as Queen of the Tearling.  Kelsea’s life with her adoptive parents Barty and Carlin has been secluded.  She is a great reader and has been tutored by Carlin in the history of her kingdom and by Barty in basic forest survival skills but she is woefully unprepared in the skills necessary to survive in the political snake-pit she is about to enter. It’s uncertain whether she will even survive the journey. Her uncle has been living large as Regent of the kingdom and is loathe to give up the comfortable life style he’s been enjoying. Fueled by the support of the Red Queen of Mortmesne, his determination to make sure Kelsea is not crowned makes for a difficult journey.  The travelers are stalked by the Caden, crimson cloaked assassins that are feared through-out the kingdom and they are attacked by Mort hawks “black as midnight and big as dogs.”  Assistance comes in the unlikely form of a masked rogue known as the Fetch who will appear more than once in Kelsea’s life.
The group is splintered and against all odds Kelsea does make it to New London accompanied by the formidable Lazarus (a.k.a. Mace, for the deadly weapon he wields so effectively).  Her introduction to the capital is grim.  They ride in on the day the tributes are being loaded onto carts to be delivered to the evil Red Queen of Mortmesne.  Queen Elyssa, Kelsea’s vain and weak mother, signed the Treaty of Mort obligating the Tearling to provide 3,000 slaves per year, including children, divided into 12 shipments and delivered to Mortmesne . In return, the Red Queen would not invade and destroy the Tearling. Kelsea is enraged and orders the prisoners released and the carts burned.  When those that enforce the treaty hesitate to obey the Queen’s commands, we get a glimpse of the power she will learn to use. She has worn the Heir’s Jewel, a sapphire, for as long as she can remember and now she begins to understand what it can do.

Magic jewels will go a long way in helping to make up for political naivete but Kelsea has broken the Treaty and there will be a price to pay.

Queen of the Tearling is the first in a proposed trilogy.  The second, Invasion of the Tearling, was released in June.  It would be wise to read the book soon before the hold list starts to build. Warner Bros. has acquired film rights to the entire series. Emma Watson has signed on as executive producer and star. The search is on for a cast to bring Johansen’s wonderful characters to life.

Who Will Like This Book:  Anyone who enjoys an action packed fantasy with a strong female protagonist.

If You Like This Try This: The Tearling series has been described as a “lighter” version of Game of Thrones. There have also been comparisons to Hunger Games and Divergent because of the strong female characters.

Recommended by: Sue D’Num

If this looks like a book you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold

Lexicon

[Cover]

Title:   Lexicon

Author:  Max Barry

Publisher:  Penguin Press, 2013

Summary/Review: “Sticks and Stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me” is basically a big, fat lie in the world of Max Barry’s Lexicon.    If a Poet tells you to go shoot yourself, you will.

Emily Ruff, a homeless teenager making money by hustling tourists, is one of the special few recruited to attend a very exclusive school where the students are taught to use words to manipulate the minds of others.  The best will graduate and become Poets.   Emily is already adept at the power of persuasion, a skill she’s had to develop to survive life on the street.  She is, however, lacking in discipline, wary of authority and absolutely ruthless in doing whatever it takes to survive.  Not surprisingly, Emily is tossed out of school but not before learning that everyone has a specific personality type and once you learn what that is you can control them with certain words.  And there are some words that are very, very powerful.

Wil Parke is the exception to the rule.  He is (almost) completely immune to manipulation by a Poet. Wil’s world has become a waking nightmare.  Strange men want information from him that he doesn’t have and they aren’t shy about hurting him to get it. He has vague memories of a happy life but can’t quite recapture them as he’s too occupied with not getting killed.

Will and Emily’s stories play out against a background of potential Armageddon.  An ancient symbol with the power to destroy has surfaced and the race is on to possess it.

Who will like this book: Readers who enjoy a fast paced science fiction thriller that keeps you guessing about who the real “bad guy” is until the very end.

If you like this, try this: Lexicon has been compared to The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman;  NOS4A2  by Joe Hill and  The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Recommended by: Sue D’num, Technical Services

If you think this could be your next read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check availability and/or place a hold

 

The Fear Index

fear index

Title: The Fear Index

Author:  Robert Harris

Publisher: Knopf, 2012

Summary/Review: If you like to read about the stock market,financial markets worldwide, and are concerned about the gyrations in the markets caused by computers using mathematical formulas for lightning fast trades (Remember the flash crash?) then this work of fiction is for you.

Dr. Alex Hoffmann, the main character, is a mathematical genius and is obsessed with artificial intelligence.  When he is unable to continue his work at CERN(due to a mental breakdown), he turned to the development of  a form of artificial intelligence, VIXAL, that utilizes a set of algorithms to buy and sell financial instruments based on what in reality is known as the VIX or volatility index, otherwise known as “the fear index”. The computers monitor events worldwide, and when the sense “fear” they will buy or sell — depending on the situation. Dr. Hoffmann and his hedge fund company become ultra-rich and everyone is very happy with the working of VIXAL–  until events start to go terribly wrong – starting with an intruder at Hoffmann’s home.

At the beginning of each chapter there is a quotation from Charles Darwin’s Origen of the Species– a work about evolution and natural selection.  At first you may not make the connection between the twists and turns of the plot and the quotation, but as you near the end of the book you realize WHAT has been evolving right under the nose of Dr. Hoffmann.

Recommended by: Sue Z, Reference Librarian

Who will like this?: Those who are interested in Artificial Intelligence and its impact on human life.  Those who are looking for a thriller with lots of twists and turns.

If you like this, try this:  If you liked Robert Harris’ writing, he has a number of other books such as “The Ghost” and “Lustrum”.   If the topic of Artificial Intelligence interests you, try the classic “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur Clarke or “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov.

If you are trying to break into the science fiction genre, try the classic “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card or “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury.  More recent science fiction includes the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins or “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth.

If this looks like a book you’d like to read, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and to place a hold!

After the Fall Before the Fall During the Fall

[Cover]

TitleAfter the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

Author: Nancy Kress

Publisher: Tachyon, April 2012

Summary/Review: In 2035, the Earth as we know it is no more. An alien attack by the mysterious ‘Tesslies’ has devastated the planet, transforming it into a poisoned wasteland.  A small band of humans have been culled to survive in The Shell, a futuristic shelter installed on the Earth’s damaged surface by the aliens. Damaged by radiation, the survivors are desperate to reproduce, thrive and restart the human race. In 2013, a brilliant statistician working for the FBI is trying to connect the dots between seemingly random kidnappings of young children and bizarre robberies occurring all over the East coast. All the cases, witnesses insist, end in a bright flash of light and the disappearance of the assailant and whatever they were taking. And in 2014, an undetected bacterium is slowly attacking plant life all over the planet.

Nancy Kress is an award-winning science fiction force and this book is a great introduction to her work. Told in the voices of Julie, the FBI analyst and Pete, a teenager born in the Shell, After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall weaves together three separate timelines that tell the story of the end of the world as we knew it.

Who will like this book? This short novel is a great choice for fans of dystopian fiction and ecological non-fiction. It is suitable for both adults and older teen readers. And with a surprising twist at the end, it’s not as bleak as it sounds.

If you like this, try this: “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman. “Eternity Road” by Jack McDevitt. “Life as We Knew It” by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

If you think you would like this book, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or place a hold!  [Link will open in a new window]

The Devil’s Alphabet

TitleThe Devil’s Alphabet

Author:  Daryl Gregory

Publisher: Random House, November 2009

Summary: Paxton Martin, a preacher’s son, is returning to his hometown of Switchcreek, TN, for the funeral of a childhood friend. Pax left Switchcreek 12 years ago, soon after an outbreak of Transcription Divergence Syndrome devastated the population of the small town. TDS, or The Changes, killed a third of the people living in Switchcreek and caused three different mutations in most of the people left alive. The victims of TDS-A, or Argos, became gray-skinned and grew to abnormal heights. TDS-B victims, or Betas, became hairless and seal-like, and TDS-C victims, or Charlies, became grotesquely obese. A few residents, Paxton included, were unaffected and remained unchanged. When Paxton returns for the funeral, he finds that there are many unanswered questions surrounding the suicide of JoLynn, and with the help of his friend Deke he tries to unravel the mystery of her death.

I would not describe myself as a science fiction fan, but I really enjoyed this one. It had great characters, bits of mystery and humor, and a few parts that rated about a 9.5 on my ickiness scale.

Who will like this book? Science fiction fans.

Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator

These Children Who Come At You With Knives

Title: These Children Who Come At You With Knives and Other Fairy Tales

Author: Jim Knipfel

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, June 2010

Summary: Fractured fairy tales have long been a popular genre in youth literature, and in this wicked, inspired collection, the grown-ups finally get their own twisted takes on ‘happily ever after.’ If you are expecting a modern-day Cinderella or Little Mermaid story, this is not the book for you.

Instead, you will meet a chicken who is too smart for her own good, a demented gnome bent on world domination, and a gossipy houseplant that would give Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors a run for her (it’s?) money. And it’s not giving too much away by saying that none of the stories has the traditional fairy tale ending. This bold collection will make you laugh and squirm at the same time.

Who will like this book?: Fans of satire. Cynics. People who think to themselves, ‘if Cinderella’s slippers were really made of glass, wouldn’t she cut up her feet?’

If you like this, read this: Another great (albeit less brutal) take on fairy tales for grown-ups, the Fables graphic novel series by Bill Willingham.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian