Book Buzz: Mad Scientists, Dystopian YA, Librarian Spies, the Haitian Revolution, Opposites Attract Romances, Pirates, and Horror on the Range

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For October, we’re looking at gothic horror inspired by The Island of Dr. Moreau, science fiction by a local author, historical fiction about WWII and the Haitian Revolution, a cute romance between two very different people, a swashbuckling nonfiction tale about Golden Age piracy, and an audiobook of Dean Koontz’s latest.

If you enjoy gothic horror:

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Daughter of Doctor Moreau (2022)

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s atmospheric Mexican Gothic was a big hit a couple of years ago. For her latest book, she again combines Mexican historical settings with spooky plot lines inspired by classic literature. This time around the primary influence is H.G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau, re-imagined into 19th century Yucatán.

Carlota Moreau has lived a sheltered life on her father’s remote estate, where he conducts bizarre secretive experiments underwritten by a wealthy family. That all changes when the charming son of her father’s patrons arrives quite unexpectedly. Complications ensue.

Recommended for those who enjoyed Megan Shepherd’s The Madman’s Daughter and Isabel Cañas’s The Hacienda.

If you want dystopian science fiction YA:

Heather McLoud’s The Biome Sacrifices (2022)

This book is by local author Heather McLoud and set on a seemingly perfect Earth, one without war, pollution, or poverty. Teenager Alishel lives a seemingly charmed life as well in this idyllic setting. That is until she discovers that life on Earth’s sister planet of Biome is dangerous and violent–the price of Earth’s surface-level perfection. Soon, she’s on the run, headed straight for Biome.

Recommended for fans of dystopian science fiction for teens.

If you prefer historical fiction:

Madeline Martin’s The Librarian Spy (2022)*

Ava, an American librarian, is recruited to work in Lisbon during the war. By day, she’s just a librarian in a neutral country as war tears Europe apart. By night, she’s a spy. Her coded messages bring her in touch with Elaine, a Frenchwoman working at one of the Resistance’s printing presses. Both she and the newspaper she prints have a giant target on their backs if the Nazis find them.

*Ebook also available on Libby.

Recommended for those who enjoyed Erika Robuck’s Sisters of Night and Fog.

Vanessa Riley’s Sister, Mother, Warrior (2022)

A sweeping novel set during the Haitian Revolution, Sister, Mother, Warrior focuses on two women who were extremely influential to Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the architect of the revolt. Though they don’t meet until after the revolt starts, Gran Toya, a Dahomey Amazon, helps raise Dessalines, and Marie-Claire, a wealthy free woman of color, falls in love with him.

Recommended for those who enjoyed Wayetu Moore’s She Would Be King.

If you love contemporary romance:

Abby Jimenez’s Part of Your World (2022)**

Alexis has long lived a life prescribed by her family of wealthy, world-renowned surgeons. At heart, she’s perfectly content to practice medicine in a much less prestigious setting, but this city girl doesn’t truly evaluate what she wants in life until she meets and falls in love with a small-town carpenter from a very modest background. He’s the last thing in the world her parents would want for her, but maybe he’s exactly what she wants for herself after all. A charming, funny modern fairy tale.

**Ebook and audiobook also available on Libby.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Emily Henry, Rachel Lynn Solomon, and Katherine Center.

If you like nonfiction:

Keith Thomson’s Born to Be Hanged: The Epic Story of the Gentlemen Pirates Who Raided the South Seas, Rescued a Princess, and Stole a Fortune (2022)

Who says nonfiction is boring?! Not me and definitely not anyone who picks up this very readable, fast-paced, and action-packed tale of a hardy group of pirates (about 300 in all) who decided to plunder the Pacific coast of South America in the 1680s. Their target is the Spanish Main, and the group, which primarily consisted of Englishmen, were surprisingly successful, despite being outnumbered and outgunned.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Nathaniel Philbrick and Brandon Presser.

If you need horror on audiobook:

Dean Koontz’s The Big Dark Sky (2022)***

Thirty-something Joanna has left her childhood on a rustic Montana ranch behind. Now living in Santa Fe, she is startled to hear a once-familiar voice beckoning her to come back to the ranch and help. She hears it in her dreams and on the phone and even on the TV. But she’s not the only one being called back to the ranch. Hundreds of strangers feel compelled to converge there as well. And on the outskirts, a madman lurks with mass murder on his mind. . . .

***Physical book also available in system.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of F. Paul Wilson, John Saul, Dan Simmons, and Stephen King.

What’s your favorite new-ish books? What books are you buzzing about these days? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.


Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

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