Benjamin Jones: The Return of the Gods
Asa Rodriguez builds new layers into his realistic fantasy epic with Benjamin Jones: The Return of the Gods! Benjamin has been pulled into a dark world where he will face off against new threats and explore more of his own godlike powers. I loved getting to explore more of Benjamin’s character as he wrestled with the darker side of his nature! It was really cool getting to explore this darker world at the same time, diving into the deeper lore of this series and getting to see the origins of magic. All the new ghouls are really interesting and imaginative as well. If you love the classics like Percy Jackson or Harry Potter, definitely come explore the dark with Benjamin Jones!
Beyond the Stars
Jolene Skvarek brings us the next exciting installment of her Aelore series that dives deeper into the awesome characters, powers, and world in Beyond the Stars! After the destruction of the Colony, Tera and her friends are forced to scrape out an existence down on the surface, something made challenging after being captured by a heartless enemy. It has been a bit since I read Eyes of the Galaxy (the first in this excellent series), so it was a real treat to get to dive deeper into Tera and Kaiden’s characters! Especially Kaiden, since his journey turns darker in this one which brings a whole bunch of layers to him. It was really great getting to explore more of the origins of the Aelore powers and the surface world as well. If you love somewhat dystopian plots that put an emphasis on deep multilayered characters, definitely take a trip to the surface in Beyond the Stars!
Strangled by Simile
Return to the scene of high school murders in Kelley Kaye’s lighthearted mystery threequel Strangled by Simile! Emma Lovett is back, hoping for a quiet teaching year without a death. Those hopes are quickly dashed as a body turns up, and the clues implicate Emma’s best friend. Kaye doesn’t slow pace with the third installment to the series, adding in all the fun lighthearted banter, well-crafted mystery, and some romantic intrigue that makes this series so much fun to read! If you love lighthearted who dunnits, you have to come take a course in murder with Strangled by Simile!
Katherine Forbes Riley
Katherine Forbes Riley sets down a beautiful depiction of human connection in the emotionally moving The Bobcat! Having survived a sexual assault, Laurelie has mostly retreated within herself, but soon discovers connection again through a child, a wounded bobcat, and a mysterious hiker. Riley’s writing is beautiful and poetic and wonderfully brings to life Laurelie’s struggle and growth as a character! This is an emotional read, full of unexpected twists that really stuck with me. If you love heartfelt, deep novels with satisfying character journeys, definitely come hiking with The Bobcat!