Tazewell County Public Library

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Pale Kings and Princes by Robert Parker

Reviewed by Lena Powers

This book is about a reporter, Eric Valdez, who gets killed when the newspaper he writes for sends him to Massachusetts to cover a story about a local drug kingpin. Spenser, a private detective the newspaper hires to find out who killed their reporter, begins to investigate grocery wholesaler, Felipe Esteva. Spenser believes Esteva is dealing drugs and paying off the local police to cover up the reporter’s murder. Evidence continues to multiply against Esteva when a second murder victim turns out to be the father of a young boy who drives a truck for him. When things start getting out of hand, Spenser brings in his girlfriend Susan and his partner Hawk to help him bring down Esteva and his allies. Was it Esteva who killed the nosy reporter? Read the book to find out.

This is a fast paced thriller that is sure to please fans of Robert B Parkers other Spenser novels.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Reviewed by Laken Lester

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was attacked by the Kingdom of Spring. The death of the queen and the breaking of the locket that held the kingdom’s magic left the citizens of Winter enslaved. The Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape with the heir to the throne. For sixteen years they have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back the broken locket to restore Winter’s magic and rebuild their forsaken kingdom.

Orphaned as baby during Spring’s attack, Meira has lived her entire life as a refugee. She has trained to be a warrior and will do anything to help Winter gain it’s freedom.
When the scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to throw caution to the wind and go after the pieces herself. But the closer she gets to restoring what was lost, she finds herself entangled in a web of evil magic, dangerous politics, and lies that have kept the most sacred things hidden.
Join Meira, Mather, and the Winterian’s on a journey to recover the kingdom that was lost in Snow Like Ashes, Ice Like Fire, and Frost Like Night.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, & Larkin Reed

Reviewed by Jami McDonald

Amber House, a sprawling, Gothic estate located in Maryland, has been owned by Sarah Parson’s mother’s family for over three centuries. In the beginning of the book, 15-year-old Sarah, who has never stepped foot inside of the house until now, finds herself visiting, and then living in, the house after her grandmother’s funeral. After she gets settled into her new home, strange things begin to happen to Sarah. She sees ghostly figures lurking in the shadows, her brother claims he is frightened by a lady who lives in a mirror, and she starts to experience visions of her family’s past. Things at Amber House become even more intriguing when Jackson, the manor’s expert gardener and caretaker, convinces Sarah that her ancestor has buried a treasure somewhere on the grounds of the estate. As Sarah delves deeper into her family’s past, she discovers that history is more complicated, and dangerous, than she could have ever imagined.

Amber house is a creepy, atmospheric book that will appeal to readers who enjoy Gothic literature. If you enjoyed this title, you might also want to try The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1-3 by Ryan North & Erica Henderson

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3

Reviewed by Cassie Ogle

Doreen Green, aka The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (member of the Great Lakes Avengers and friend of Tony Stark), with her squirrel friend Tippy Toe are embarking on a new adventure: College. Doreen makes a few friends and enemies before classes get started. How is a girls supposed to juggle computer science classes, keeping her tail tucked and her secret identity safe, and saving the world from villains such as Galactus, Kraven the Hunter, and Doctor Doom? – By “Eating Nuts, and Kicking Butts!” of course. Well, actually, she usually uses the “Kicking Butts” part as a last resort and relies on her upbeat personality and wit to try to reason with her enemies first.

P.S. Be sure to read the author’s comments at the bottom of each page!

Available at TCPL: Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3

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Children’s Books about Grandparents

Reviewed by Amy Horne

When a Grandpa Says “I Love You” by Douglas Wood

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During the holiday season make time to talk with kids about the importance of family. So check out one of many books about families from our Family Shelf.
In the book When a Grandpa Says “I Love You” it shows the love between a grandpa and child. Grandpa’s show their love in all kinds of special ways such as teaching you to tie a shoe, and how to wink, how to learn a new game, and especially by telling stories that only a grandpa can tell that make you feel special. Cute and cuddly illustrations that use animals to portray the bond between grandfathers and the kids who love them.

Silas’ Seven Grandparents by Anita Horrocks

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Since the holiday season is the time of year families gets together, sharing stories about what others families do when they get together can be a lot of fun.
Silas is proud to have seven grandparents that enjoy spending time with him and devouring him with their attention. But when his are parents are going away on a business trip he is left with a very tough decision to make. Which grandparent to stay with since there is only one of him and seven of them? Silas decides not to stay with any one of them but to have all seven come and stay with him. Each one offers a fun, unique, and valuable activity they can do together. Silas knows he is loved seven times.

 

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Big little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Reviewed by Sarah Murphy

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Jane is a young mother, new to a small beach community, and soon befriended by two women with children also starting kindergarten at the local public school. Madeline is the fighter of the group, ready to stand up for anything she views as an injustice to another. Celeste, the third member of this group of mothers, is the beautiful wife of a very successful businessman.

Although the women form a quick bond, they also still harbor secrets they can’t share with the others. It isn’t until one explosive event occurs at a school function that all three realize secrets can be damaging and but sometimes necessary to survive.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Movie: Spectre

Reviewed by Kandi Vance

spectre
“The name is Bond, James Bond.” Most everyone has heard this line from the decades that the Ian Fleming book series first started making the character James Bond come to life on the big screen. From Sean Connery to Roger Moore to Timothy Dalton to today’s James Bond Daniel Craig, all have caught the eye for the public to see how “James Bond” the actors can be.
In the latest movie, Spectre, James goes on a rogue mission to infiltrate and dismantle a malicious organization Spectre. With the secret help of key players within MI6, Moneypenny and Q, along with others James must stop this terrorist group. As James gets deeper into the heart of Spectre he recognizes similarities between himself and their leader. In order to untangle the evil web of Spectre James must come to terms these similarities with his enemy.
Spectre is an action packed movie worthy of being in the James Bond Collection.

Available at TCPL: Movie

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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Reviewed by Gloria Goins

lovely-bones

Susie Salmon has died and passed on to a heaven she never knew existed. This very surreal, personal “sanctuary” isn’t as blissful as expected, though. Susie struggles with combative emotions as she watches the life she so suddenly and tragically departed from. At the age of fourteen, Susie was raped and murdered by her very own neighbor, George Harvey, and must cope with the idea of him getting away with it. Simultaneously, Susie’s desperately grieving family conducts an investigation to gain closure and justice for the loss of their loving sister and daughter. As the novel progresses, clues pointing toward Harvey’ guilt become more prevalent, but the question always remains: Will he pay for his heinous crime? Alice Sebold’s psychologically riveting story about a young girl’s murder truly displays the notion that a person’s life proceeds even after death, but does justice always prevail? The Lovely Bones is a delightfully challenging read for all ages alike.

Available at TCPL: Book | Overdrive eBook | Overdrive Audiobook

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Alex by Pierre Lemaitre

Reviewed by Brittany Holt

alex

Alex begins with the kidnapping of a young and beautiful girl named Alex. Alex was kidnapped by an unknown male, and is then beaten and left suspended in a crate in a cold abandoned building with only dog food to eat and her only company are the rats that view her as their next meal. Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven from the Brigade Criminelle is assigned the case. But Camille has a dark past of his own, haunted by what happened to his wife Irene he feels obligated to save Alex in time. We follow Camille as he tries to find Alex in time and by identifying her kidnapper he unearths are Alex’s dark past and we learn what and who Alex really is. Alex is a psychological thriller, filled with suspense and murder with a twist ending that you will not see coming. Alex is the second book in a riveting and suspenseful series by Lemaitre.

Available at TCPL: Book

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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Reviewed by Chris Wilkes

first-fifteen-lives

When Harry August dies, he is reborn in the exact same moment and place that he was born. He retains the knowledge and memories from all his previous lives. He learns many languages and dies in World War II multiple times. He is a professor, doctor, and spy at different times across his multiple lives.

There are other individuals that have this same ability of looping back through time; they are known as the Cronus Club. This club helps members in their younger years. Most of the times these members live decadent lives and are little concerned with the lives of “linears.” They do try to prevent disruptions in the time lines.

Harry learns the world is ending and that members of the Cronus Club are dying off. He seeks to uncover this mystery that will take him several lives to unwind.

Available at TCPL: Book

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