MixedSt. Louis Post-DispatchUnlike some other popular authors, Ware hasn’t found a groove and stayed in it. Her readers never know quite what they’ll get next ... With its back-and-forth, The It Girl has some trouble building momentum. Hannah’s behavior seems increasingly unhinged, to the point of endangering her pregnancy over and over. The climax is exciting and well engineered, but overall the book seems maybe 100 pages too long ... Readers who can’t get enough of Ruth Ware, though, will find plenty to like here.
RaveThe St. Louis Post-DispatchDoerr is not just a master of storytelling. He is, arguably, a magician ... brilliant, almost indescribable ... This is an epic on an even larger scale than its predecessor, one that might have taken an ordinary human writer even longer than seven years to produce. It is massive — 640 pages, but without a wasted syllable — and woven as tightly as a Turkish tapestry ... Remarkably, although it tells the stories of five major characters in three timelines separated by eight centuries, it is never confusing in the slightest ... Above all, it’s a celebration of words, of stories, of books and especially of libraries. (Oh, the libraries.) It’s an ode to the human spirit and its power to dream impossible dreams ... There’s no need to dream of a beautiful land, up above the clouds, to escape 2021 for a few hours. Anthony Doerr’s magic, captured in the pages of this thrilling, lovely, deeply satisfying book, will take you there.
RaveSt. Louis Post-DispatchTimely and thrilling, this 17th entry is one of the series’ most rewarding ... satisfying both as an intricate crime-solving procedural and as an opportunity to revisit Three Pines, the community Penny has built, story upon story, since Still Life in 2005 ... satisfying both as an intricate crime-solving procedural and as an opportunity to revisit Three Pines, the community Penny has built, story upon story, since Still Life”in 2005 ... The mystery may be the main course, but the side dishes — the food for thought, and the food at the Bistro; the people and their lives and, yes, loves; and certainly the setting itself — combine to create a full banquet for readers, one liberally seasoned with dry humor. The Madness of Crowds is one of the richest and most satisfying banquets yet.
PositiveSt. Louis Post-DispatchThe thrill ride, unusually action packed for a Penny book, begins with sweet reunions ... Most satisfying, though, is the pivotal role played throughout by Reine-Marie Gamache, a retired archivist, who turns out to be not only smart and skilled but also delightfully sneaky ... Despite the growing jeopardy to pretty much everyone, the book’s atmosphere isn’t relentlessly dark, though. Penny excels at creating a sense of place, and she brings Paris to life with scenes small (a favorite garden at the Rodin museum) and big (the top of the Eiffel Tower) ... As satisfying as it is, All the Devils Are Here seems likely to be the most polarizing in the series. Some faithful readers wait eagerly to revisit Three Pines with every new book and could well be disappointed to find themselves spending time in the City of Light instead.
PositiveThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch... isn’t a manifesto. But it’s a nice fit with what’s happening in the real world, where women who once might have hung back are stepping forward with confidence and getting to work on whatever challenge faces them ... Confused? Don’t worry. Anyone who has read only some of Gardner’s 20-plus novels and stories will find that she lets the characters explain their history, often by the time we even meet them.
PositiveSt. Louis Post-Dispatch[Penny\'s books] straddle the tricky line between edgy and cozy, between horrifying and humorous ... Penny doesn’t deal in superficialities; no character, victim or perpetrator, is all good or all evil, once the depths are probed.
Charlie Jane Anders
PositiveSt. Louis Post-Dispatch\"Built on more science than many works of science fiction, City is anything but a dry and scholarly tome — the weird crocodilian creatures alone would make sure of that. At more than 300 pages, though, the book is dense to the point of being slow going, with alternating points of view that are sometimes as disorienting as night and day. Persist and the last chapters come together in a satisfying conclusion with lessons that are more than relevant to this Earth today.\
MixedSt. Louis Post DispatchDon’t be fooled to think Leading Men is a straightforward, semi-historical novel ... It’s a shape-shifting concoction, a fever dream that slides seamlessly through time and across continents ... but the result here is too many perspectives, too many changes of scene, too many unnecessary characters and, frankly, too many words. It’s a long slog when it’s so difficult to connect with any of the protagonists ... But insights into [Williams\'s] working style, and more importantly his character, still make the novel intriguing for fans of the man who eagerly left this city, only to end up for eternity in Calvary Cemetery.
MixedSt. Louis Post-Dispatch\"In many ways, Wilder’s story is the story of the American West, and Fraser frames her biography in that context … Fraser’s exploration of Wilder’s family history begins with her father’s Puritan ancestors in the 1600s. Caroline (Quiner) Ingalls’ genealogy gets a similar treatment. All this contributes to the great tapestry of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life, while also making the early chapters of Prairie Fires dense and scholarly, sometimes to the point of dryness … Fraser has certainly achieved her goal of putting Wilder and her Little House books into a clearer context than ever before.\
PositiveThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch...a slim volume that reads like a cautionary fairy tale of contemporary parenting … Weiner gets into the heads of these not-very-interesting people, letting them share their feelings with readers in ways they can’t with one another. Just when a reader may be wondering whether anything will ever happen, Heather becomes a teen and inevitably clashes with her possessive mother … The style Weiner employs in Heather, the Totality is distinctive but odd, with many characters referred to as capital-M Mother or capital-W Worker, as if they were archetypes, or creatures from an Aesop fable. This never gets less disconcerting.
PositiveSt. Louis Post-DispatchWith end-of-life issues looming over Alma, The Japanese Lover can’t be called lighthearted. But it’s often wryly funny, and always an absorbing argument for the power of love.