Category Archives: Literature Reviews

Armada by Ernest Cline

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Long-time readers of Ephemeral Pursuits may recall Ernest Cline’s debut novel Ready Player One that I reviewed a few years back. I’m happy to report back that I’ve got his follow-up effort, Armada in my grubby little paws. There’s always a fear that a first-time novelist won’t have a strong follow-up effort (or even an effort in the first place). With as much… Read more »

The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber

The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber is a mammoth 500-page novel that deals with science fiction and religion in one neat little package. It also manages to be quite the dystopian novel without actually dealing with the dystopia itself. The premise is short – a Christian missionary travels to another planet and ministers to the native population, while… Read more »

Gutenberg’s Apprentice by Alix Christie

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Gutenberg’s Apprentice is Alix Christie’s first novel and an auspicious start to her fiction career. Christie apprenticed to different master printers (Lester Lloyd, the longtime foreman of the Mackenzie & Harris type foundry of San Francisco, which Arion Press now owns, and James & Carolyn Robertson at the Yolla Bolly Press). The book is dedicated to them and other master… Read more »

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

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I’ve been meaning to review Marisha Pessl’s physical book genre-bending novel Night Film for quite some time. Easily one of the best books I read in 2013, it’s not quite as much a book as it is an experiment in storytelling. It blends the Internet, mobile-phone era, and the traditional book into one tidy package. It’s very hard to describe… Read more »

{FC} The Circle of Thirteen by William Petrocelli

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If you’ve been searching for an up and coming author of thrillers to supplement your Dan Brown, Simon Toyne, and James Patterson fixes – look no further. William Petrocelli has announced his candidacy with his stunning debut novel – The Circle of Thirteen. Petrocelli pulls off magical alchemy with his thriller, combining a realistic futuristic dystopian environment complete with politics…. Read more »

The Returned by Jason Mott

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I wanted to like and enjoy The Returned by Jason Mott. I really did. It made it onto Entertainment Weekly‘s Summer Must List for 2013 – a list of the best 10 books you could read for Summer 2013. EW’s succinct summary mentioned that The Returned is already being adapted for a mid-season ABC series entitled Resurrection starring Omar Epps. The… Read more »

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

Gavin Extence’s debut novel (and the second for the Redhook publishing group) is a stunning bildungsroman about the extraordinary life of one Alex Woods. Unlucky in life by conventional standards, Alex is extremely lucky to have his growing pains documented by Extence. Alex gets struck in the head by a meteorite and survives, but becomes epileptic as a result. Already… Read more »

{FC} Scissors by Stephane Michaka, Translated by John Cullen

Literary readers will already know who Raymond Carver is. If by some chance you haven’t heard of Carver, then this book is an absolute delight to read blind, without any prior knowledge. If that’s you – then ignore the rest of this review and go ahead and preorder the book. Slated for publication on August 13, 2013 by Nan A…. Read more »

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

Citizens, gather ’round this blog post. It’s time for America’s Best Story of 2013! Our intrepid hero, Adam Johnson has begun writing a story called ‘The Best North Korean Short Story of 2005’.¹ Eager to please his capitalist masters, who were hungry for more and more, Johnson channeled his inner Henry James and wrote installment after installment. No, cried his… Read more »