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‘Rising’ Tension Drives ‘Malibu’

All happy families are alike, as Tolstoy says, but that’s not the case in Malibu Rising, which follows a quartet of super-close siblings who would probably describe themselves as a happy family—even if poverty, fame, and necessity have made their version of happiness looks a little more complicated than most. Nina Riva, a 25-year-old modelContinue reading “‘Rising’ Tension Drives ‘Malibu’”

‘Quiet’ has Good ‘Bones’ but Problems, too

I’ve expressed feelings about unreliable narrators before, but each new book using it seems to change my opinion just a little—usually for good but sometimes for bad. Unreliable narrators can be a huge boon or bust for a thriller. I’ve thought about it for a while now, and I’m not sure which the unreliable narratorContinue reading “‘Quiet’ has Good ‘Bones’ but Problems, too”

Character Goes Deep in ‘Luminous Dead’

I love the Nathan Pyle comic about reading. The simple four-panel comic really nails the immersive reader experience. Sometimes the immersion is as good as being on a sailing ship exploring new waters. Sometimes it’s tainted with magic and quarreling gods. And sometimes, it thrusts you in a dark, unpredictable cave where sight and soundContinue reading “Character Goes Deep in ‘Luminous Dead’”

‘Sensor’ Sends Chills

I’ve mentioned before how much I love a good spine-tingling tale. I have to say, though, few stories have as tight a grip on the macabre and the uncomfortable as Junji Ito, for whom the ordinary is only fodder for nightmares. I got my introduction to the manga writer through Uzumaki and have shuddered everyContinue reading “‘Sensor’ Sends Chills”

‘Slow Fire Burning’ Lives Up To Its Name

When coupled with Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Paula Hawkins and her smash-hit debut, Girl on the Train, is responsible for one of the biggest trends in recent literary history since Twilight brought us every variety of paranormal romances imaginable and then some. But instead of werewolves and vampires banging, we got a glut of thrillers, mostContinue reading “‘Slow Fire Burning’ Lives Up To Its Name”

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