Fantasy Debut of the Month

 When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner
When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner

If you pick a fight with Shroud, Lord of the Dead, you had better ensure your victory, else death will mark only the beginning of your suffering.

A book giving its wielder power over the dead has been stolen from a fellowship of mages that has kept the powerful relic dormant for centuries. The thief, a crafty, power-hungry necromancer, intends to use the Book of Lost Souls to resurrect an ancient race and challenge Shroud for dominion of the underworld. Shroud counters by sending his most formidable servants to seize the artifact at all cost.

However, the god is not the only one interested in the Book, and a host of other forces converge, drawn by the powerful magic that has been unleashed. Among them is a reluctant Guardian who is commissioned by the Emperor to find the stolen Book, a troubled prince who battles enemies both personal and political, and a young girl of great power, whose past uniquely prepares her for an encounter with Shroud. The greatest threat to each of their quests lies not in the horror of an undead army but in the risk of betrayal from those closest to them. Each of their decisions comes at a personal cost and will not only affect them, but also determine the fate of their entire empire.

The first of an epic swords & sorcery fantasy series, Marc Turner's When the Heavens Fall features gritty characters, deadly magic, and meddlesome gods. (Publisher Summary)

Orient by Christopher Bollen

 Orient by Christopher Bollen
As summer draws to a close, a Small Long Island town is plagued by a series of mysterious deaths— and one young man, a loner taken in by a local, tries to piece together the crimes before his own time runs out.

Orient is an isolated hamlet on the North Fork of Long Island—a quiet, historic village that swells each summer with vacationers, Manhattan escapees, and wealthy young artists from the city with designs on local real estate. On the last day of summer, a teenage drifter named Mills Chevern arrives in town. Soon after, the village is rocked by a series of unsettling events: the local caretaker is found floating lifeless in the ocean; an elderly neighbor dies under mysterious circumstances; and a monstrous animal corpse is discovered on the beach not far from a research lab often suspected of harboring biological experiments. Before long, other more horrific events plunge the community into a spiral of paranoia.

As the village struggles to make sense of the wave of violence, anxious eyes settle on the mysterious Mills, a troubled orphan with no family, a hazy history, and unknown intentions. But he finds one friend in Beth, an Orient native in retreat from Manhattan, who is determined to unravel the mystery before the small town devours itself.

Suffused with tension, rich with character and a haunting sense of lives suspended against an uncertain future,Orient is both a galvanic thriller and a provocative portrait of the dark side of the American dream: an idyllic community where no one is safe. (Publisher Summary)

Library Reads announces the top books published in May that librarians across the country love!


A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . . Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth. (Publisher Summary)



Norfolk is suffering from record summer heat when a construction crew unearths a macabre discovery—a downed World War II plane with the pilot still inside. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot, and DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. When the remaining members of the Blackstock family learn about the discovery, they seem strangely frightened by the news. Then human bones are found on the family’s pig farm. Can the team outrace a looming flood to find a killer? (Publisher Summary)


 Uprooted by Naomi Novik

"Agnieszka loves her quiet village, the forests, and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia,  her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose"-- (Publisher Summary)


Kate Atkinson's dazzling Life After Life explored the possibility of infinite chances and the power of choices, following Ursula Todd as she lived through the turbulent events of the last century over and over again. A GOD IN RUINS tells the dramatic story of the 20th Century through Ursula's beloved younger brother Teddy--would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather-as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. After all that Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have. An ingenious and moving exploration of one ordinary man's path through extraordinary times. (Publisher Summary)



The American Southwest has been decimated by drought. Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches, deciding if it should just take the whole river all for itself. Into the fray steps Las Vegas water knife Angel Velasquez. Detective, assassin, and spy, Angel “cuts” water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority and its boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious archeology developments can bloom in the desert and that anyone who challenges her is left in the gutted-suburban dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. (Publisher Summary)


When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to BeyoncĂ©. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities,The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age. (Publisher Summary)


Early Warning opens in 1953 with the Langdon family at a crossroads. As the country moves out of post–World War II optimism through the darker landscape of the Cold War and the social and sexual revolutions of the 1960s & ’70s, and then into the unprecedented wealth—for some—of the early 1980s, the Langdon children each follow a different path in a rapidly changing world. And they now have children of their own: twin boys who are best friends and vicious rivals; a girl whose rebellious spirit takes her to the notorious Peoples Temple in San Francisco; and a golden boy who drops out of college to fight in Vietnam—leaving behind a secret legacy that will send shock waves through the Langdon family. (Publisher Summary)


In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf’s inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis’s wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. (Publisher Summary)




In such a small community as the Falkland Islands, a missing child is unheard of. In such a dangerous landscape it can only be a terrible tragedy, surely... When another child goes missing, and then a third, it's no longer possible to believe that their deaths were accidental, and the villagers must admit that there is a murderer among them. Even Catrin Quinn, a damaged woman living a reclusive life after the accidental deaths of her own two sons a few years ago, gets involved in the searches and the speculation. And suddenly, in this wild and beautiful place that generations have called home, no one feels safe and the hysteria begins to rise. (Publisher Summary)

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Where War Comes Home

The stark white tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery appear to be much the same at first glance. But as this reverent tribute shows, the men and women buried there have a wide range of stories to tell. Following Poole's On Hallowed Ground, about the history of Arlington, Section 60 describes a portion of the cemetery where soldiers from the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are being laid to rest. In crisp prose suited to its military topic, Poole eloquently shares the stories of these casualties and those they left behind, such as the woman who received a soldier's heart, the sergeant who must live with his regrets, and the father who searched for answers about how his son was killed. The deaths are a jumping-off point into larger stories of the conflicts, with detailed battle accounts and an examination of the newest challenges in warfare. But the book draws its greatest strength from the personal tales among the statistics, as the mournful notes of "Taps" drift over the fresh graves, again and again. (Booklist Reviews)

Men of War by Alexander Rose
To an unprecedented degree, Men of War brings home the reality of combat and, just as important, its aftermath in the form of the psychological and medical effects on veterans. Drawing on an immense range of firsthand sources from the battlefield, Rose begins by re-creating the lost and alien world of eighteenth-century warfare at Bunker Hill, the bloodiest clash of the War of Independence—and reveals why the American militiamen were so lethally effective against the oncoming waves of British troops. Then, focusing on Gettysburg, Rose describes a typical Civil War infantry action, vividly explaining what Union and Confederate soldiers experienced before, during, and after combat. Finally, he shows how in 1945 the Marine Corps hurled itself with the greatest possible violence at the island of Iwo Jima, where nearly a third of all Marines killed in World War II would die. As Rose demonstrates, the most important factor in any battle is the human one: At Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima, the American soldier, as much as any general, proved decisive.

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight. Unbroken Tells the gripping true story of a U.S. airman who was the soul survivor when his bomber crashed into the sea during World War II and had to face thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war—of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends. American Sniper also honors Kyles fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyles wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris.

War Novels


Spanning the years from 1776 to 1782, the sequel to Rise to Rebellion captures a pivotal period in the American Revolution as the colonists face an uphill battle in their quest for freedom and General George Washington makes a fateful--and desperate--decision to cross the Delaware River and confront the enemy in New Jersey. (Publisher Summary)



Pledging her loyalty to the North at the risk of her life when her native Virginia secedes, Quaker-educated aristocrat Elizabeth Van Lew uses her innate skills for gathering military intelligence to help construct the Richmond underground and orchestrate escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison. (Publisher Summary)



Based on local history and family stories passed down by the author's great-great-grandfather, Cold Mountain is the tale of a wounded soldier Inman, who walks away from the ravages of the war and back home to his prewar sweetheart, Ada. Inman's odyssey through the devastated landscape of the soon-to-be-defeated South interweaves with Ada's struggle to revive her father's farm. (Publisher Summary)


A tragic wartime romance set against the brutal and chaotic backdrop of World War I is the classic story of a volunteer ambulance driver wounded on the Italian front and the English nurse he loves and leaves behind. A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion. (Publisher Summary)




In this poignant novel of love and friendship tested by separation and war, Kezia struggles to keep her ordered life from unraveling after her husband enlists to fight for his country, while Thea, her best friend, sister-in-law and suffragette, is drawn reluctantly to the battlefield. (Publisher Summary)




In Sleep in Peace Tonight, a tale of courage, loyalty, and love, and the sacrifices one will make in the name of each, James MacManus brings to life not only Blitz-era London and the tortuous politics of the White House but also the poignant characters and personalities that shaped the course of world history.(Publisher Summary)



Portrays the contrasting personalities and nostalgic reminiscences of a group of American soldiers engaged in a combat operation against the Japanese during World War II, fighting for the possession of the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. (Publisher Summary)




A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene,The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. (Publisher Summary)




Returning with deep psychological scars after a tour of duty in Iraq, woman soldier Lauren Clay guides her younger brother to an upstate New York oil field that has become the subject of her obsession and begins teaching him survival skills while revealing her experiences. (Publisher Summary)