Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid
Hamid’s Exit West dropped this year and absolutely shook me. And it may be the most important book released this year. So, I had to go back to Hamid’s first novel to see just where this great writer came from. Moth Smoke follows Daru Shezad’s fall from his comfortable status into a life of crime and drugs. His life mirrors Pakistan’s 21st-century moral complexity. Nearly halfway through the novel, I’m struck by Hamid’s affinity for Nouvelle Vague-style romance and sharp insight into human behavior. He depicts Pakistan as a glamorous place with mad parties and sexy adventures yet poverty and violence are around many corners. If you haven’t given Hamid’s work a chance yet, Moth Smoke is a perfect beginning to a 21st-century master’s body of work. You can find copies of Moth Smoke on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
The Dying Game by Asa Avdic
A high tension thriller wrapped around the iconic “locked room mystery” and set in a totalitarian state in the near future. Avdic has a manner of raising the level by placing the action in the eyes of many characters and as such develops a twisted tale that will haunt you with its unexpectedness. Anna has be selected to be the witness to a test of other people, whether they can survive what will be her murder and keep a level head. When the game starts in an isolated house on a island, things go wrong from the start, and when the other people start disappearing, Anna is at a loss: is this part of the game or is there something more sinister going on? The action ramps up until the unexpected twist at the end. A marvelous and unforgettable read about the ways of control and the limits of freedom. You can soon find copies of The Dying Game on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
Mare is captured. Maven’s quickly melting kingdom is slipping through the boy-king’s fingers. And the Scarlet Guard restrains a furious fire Prince, an impatient Silencer, and an unraveling rebellion. The lines between Reds, Silvers, and NewBloods blur leaving a nation and its people on a sword’s edge… Loved this conclusion to the trilogy! You can find copies of King’s Cage on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
I just recently revisited Jemisin’s The Fifth Season for a school project and was happy to find that I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. In this novel, Every Fifth Season brings about another earth-shattering environmental catastrophe, but this Season is far worse than anyone could have imagined – and might wipe out humanity for good. Enter Essun, an orogene, or a human gifted with the ability to control the movements of the earth. As the world falls apart around her, she seeks to find her lost daughter, avenge her murdered son, and discover the secret purpose of the power she wields. With its alternating narrators, unique world building, and vivid characters, it’s no wonder it won the 2016 Hugo Award. You can find copies of The Fifth Season on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.