happy release day

Today is the official release day for Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman

Spinning off a minor character from the Retrievers books (Staying Dead, etc.), Gilman launches an entertaining new series set in her Cosa Nostradamus world of magic-using Talented humans. Following up on a mysterious job lead, college grad Bonita Torres joins the Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations (PUPI), a freelance CSI-style unit for Talent-related crimes. The “puppies” refine and practice spells until they get their first big case: an apparent double suicide. As they follow the evidence, trail and interrogate suspects, and defend themselves against attacks, the investigators develop comfortable and engaging team dynamics and create the field of forensic magic. Gilman’s deft plotting and first-class characters complement her agile blend of science and spell craft, and readers will love the Mythbusters-style fun of smart, sassy people solving mysteries through experimentation, failure, and blowing stuff up. –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Also available today: Elysiana by Chris Knopf

As the 1969 summer season begins on the New Jersey barrier island of Elysiana—“an assortment of seashore amenities and profound dissociation”—the cops and the lifeguards prepare for the annual turf war made necessary by a loopy municipal charter and warring city politicians. A druglord arrives in his GTO to murder a local who stiffed him. A drugged-out Chicago girl figuratively washes up on the beach with no clear memory of how she got there, and a local thief and surfer marvels at the ease of stealing eight-track tape players from cars. A full baker’s dozen major characters swirl and collide as if in Brownian motion, moved by elemental forces like wind and tide and lesser things like work and whim. Signs and portents hint that something life changing, if not quite apocalyptic, will affect them all. Elysiana is a departure for Knopf, whose Sam Acquillo mysteries have won reviewers’ raves, but he nails it. The seemingly shambling plot proves ultimately to be sly, and Knopf’s sweet-spirited style recalls memories spurred by faded home movies of long-ago vacations. His bio says that he was a New Jersey lifeguard back in the day, and he captures the zeitgeist of the Shore perfectly. Every “shoobie” on the beach who eschews MTV’s odious Jersey Shore should be reading Elysiana this season. –Booklist, Starred Review

One response to “happy release day

  1. Hard magic
    Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. The main character Bonita Torres doesn’t know it all but loves to learn and she has a great team to learn from. I liked that there was action but not terrible character damaging violence. Can’t wait for the next one in Feb.

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