This absorbing SF series concludes with a brisk, electrifying tale.

THE REVENGE OF HATATHOR

A dangerous conflict on an alien planet involves revenge plots and a wormhole-jumping orb in this final installment of an SF trilogy.

Iraqi alchemist Al-Khidr once again leaves Earth. He uses a hand-held jump-sphere to return to planet Lyra, unaware his enemy Hatathor, who followed him to Earth, has hitched a ride as well. The two are in for a shock: It’s not the same Lyra they left. Years have passed, and a new king has seized the throne while the former administration plans retribution. Al-Khidr keeps his head down until reuniting with his Lyrian lover, Nefertiti, a former police officer who opposes the king’s rule. The alchemist fights to protect the jump-sphere, an incredible device that houses the earthly cure for the alien disease Mutmut, which kills Lyrian males. Hatathor, like Al-Khidr, has trouble settling into Lyra’s new political climate. He also craves revenge against Al-Khidr, who he thinks is cursed with human diseases, as well as the woman who supposedly murdered Hatathor’s father. Meanwhile, a power struggle among Hatathor, the king, and a cult that may actually be running the kingdom threatens everyone on the planet. Odin imbues his trilogy’s third volume with a much faster pace than the earlier installments. Al-Khidr and Nefertiti, for example, dodge quadrotor drones and face off against men toting laser guns. Surprisingly, the villains provide the most narrative fun, as discord between them fuels various motivations and schemes from the beginning. This story almost becomes a violent soap opera. Hatathor stumbles into romance with the princess, whose father wants her to marry his commander in chief. The commander has ties to the cult and aims to kill Hatathor. The author rounds out his enjoyable tale with betrayals, unexpected deaths, and Earth itself in peril. Despite a thorough and convincing wrap-up, the ending hints at more stories featuring the compelling intergalactic cast.

This absorbing SF series concludes with a brisk, electrifying tale.

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2022

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Odin Fantasy World

Review Posted Online: March 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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