‘The Poisoner’s Ring’ by Kelley Armstrong is the second in her time-travel mystery series

In Kelley Armstrong’s second book of the “Rip Through Time” series, we see that Mallory Atkinson is still adjusting to being thrust back in time to 1869. In the current time, she had been a homicide detective in Canada, but somehow went back in time while visiting her ailing grandmother in Edinburgh. Luckily, she ended up in the body of a maid who worked for an unusual family, the head of which is interested in crimes and who runs a funeral business. His sister is a chemist with whom Mallory has become friends.

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‘Heir of Uncertain Magic’ by Charlie N. Holmberg is the second book in the delightfully fantasy-filled ‘Whimbrel House’ series

Author Charlie N. Holmberg writes a lot of fantasy, and her latest novel, “Heir of Uncertain Magic” is the sequel to “Keeper of Enchanted Rooms,” the first book in the “Whimbrel House” series. Unfortunately, neither title gives even a hint of the delightful character of this magic-filled series about two fairly tortured souls in search of some stability and in desperate need of some love in their lives. We meet those two, Merritt Fernsby and Hulda Larkin, in the first book as Merritt inherits a magical house, and Hulda is sent to help him figure out how to control the magic of the house. It’s filled with action, danger, and some truly heart-wrenching moments.

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‘The Unforgettable Logan Foster and the Shadow of Doubt’ by Shawn Peters is a thoughtful fantasy middle grade novel

In his second book in the Logan Foster series, “The Unforgettable Logan Foster and the Shadow of Doubt,” author Shawn Peters asks readers to consider the power of actual strength, as in super strength, versus the power of the mind. The main character, Logan Foster, starts his narrative by explaining that while he is “a twelve-year-old orphan living on the Westside of Lost Angeles,” he’s halfway through high school because he has an eidetic memory. He tells us, “I’ve retained every word, sound, and image that I’ve seen or heard since I was three.” He also makes it clear that he is writing this narrative for his younger brother, whom he is hoping to find and with whom he hopes to be reunited.

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‘Sleep No More’ is the first in a new paranormal trilogy by Jayne Ann Krentz

We know what we are going to get when we read a romance/mystery by Jayne Ann Krentz, and her newest novel in a new trilogy, “Sleep No More,” doesn’t disappoint. Krentz is the master at writing suspenseful mysteries that, at their core, are also very much about attraction and romance. We keep reading her novels because of the way she brings new characters, new situations, and new mystery into each new piece.

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‘The Midnighters’ by Hana Tooke is a delightful middle grade historical fiction romp with a soupçon of the supernatural

Many children know the feeling of not fitting in and in “The Midnighters,” author Hana Tooke explores that feeling through her main character, Ema, whose fantastic, incredibly dangerous journey in this novel finally leads to her finding acceptance and respect. Ema was born into a family of scientists, and while she absorbed much of their knowledge, she didn’t feel their passion. What she felt instead was dread, and that feeling made her feel different than the rest of her siblings and her parents. She seemed to know when bad things were going to happen, and the number twelve was an especially dangerous number in her eyes.

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‘Keeper of Enchanted Rooms’ by Charlie N. Holmberg

Bestselling fantasy author Charlie N. Holmberg brings us a new fantasy-infused novel about a magic-infused house in “Keeper of Enchanted Rooms.” To this enchanted house come a plethora of people who all, in their own way, are estranged from loved ones. In the prologue, we meet a young Silas Hogwood, and we feel for him as we witness the abuse he suffers at the hands of his father—or rather at the abusive magical spells his father casts at him. But it’s the last time we feel pity for him as we witness, in the snippets Holmberg provides, his descent into depravity and murderous evil as he murders those around him for their magical ability.

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‘Furysong’ by Rosaria Munda is the conclusion of a brilliant fantasy trilogy

With her latest novel, “Furysong,” the last fantasy in the trilogy that began with “Fireborne” and continued with “Flamefall,” author Rosaria Munda has claimed her place as a first class writer who can plan, plot, and execute a series of books wherein each approaches 500 pages—not one page of which feels unnecessary. Yes, the novels are lengthy, but they are chockfull of fascinating characters with whom we empathize, nonstop action, unexpected twists, heartbreaking turns, and dragons who bond to their specific humans. Be forewarned that if you start with the first one, you will probably want to read all three books in a row, and this situation might affect your performance at work or school.

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‘Some of It Was Real’ by Nan Fischer is about believing in yourself and finding out difficult truths

Some of It Was Real by Nan Fischer

Some books grab you from the first page, and reading on and on becomes almost as important as breathing and eating. “Some of It Was Real” by veteran author Nan Fischer is one such novel. How can we not fall for a young woman who has as her best friend an intimidating but lovable 145-pound great Dane named Moose? We quickly fall for both Sylvie and Moose and we want to keep reading to see how Sylvie deals with the obstacles life has placed in her path.

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‘Flirting with Fate’ by J. C. Cervantes is a lovely story of destiny, love, and family

Flirting with Fate by J. C. Cervantes

While “Flirting with Fate” by J. C. Cervantes is a young adult fantasy about love and fate, it’s not quite as light and frothy as that might indicate. It’s a touching story, and I actually needed a tissue as I finished reading it because of the evocation of strong emotions at the ending. As might be surmised from the title, the story is about the fickle nature of fate, and whether there is something like destiny and “meant to be.”

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‘The Forgotten Five: Map of Flames’ by Lisa McMann is the first in a new middle grade fantasy series

The Forgotten Five: Map of Flames

In her new series, “The Forgotten Five: Map of Flames,” Lisa McMann creates an action-filled fantasy with children who have supernatural powers but must survive on their own after the last adult in their group dies. The five children have always lived in a secret hideaway far from civilization as their parents were master criminals who barely escaped with their lives after a heist gone bad. But gradually, the parents have disappeared after returning to civilization, the first few to gather supplies, and then others left to search for the first three adults who disappeared. The last adult, Louis, got sick and died, leaving his daughter a secret message.

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‘The Lock-Eater’ by Zack Loran Clark is an action-filled fantasy with plenty of twists

The Lock-Eater by Zack Loran Clark

In his debut novel, “The Lock-Eater,” author Zack Loran Clark presents us with a very unusual protagonist. Melanie Gate is an orphan, and she lives with other similarly situated girls at the Merrytrails Orphanage for Girls. Mrs. Harbargain is the kindly woman in charge of the orphanage, and she lives with the children and her cat, Abraxas, who is redeemed neither by his looks nor his personality. Melanie has the strange ability of being able to open any door or lock. Other girls in the orphanage have different abilities; one is a talented baker, another is unusually charming, another a gifted storyteller.

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