Posted in Fantasy, picture books

An adventure with Grandmother… We Became Jaguars

We Became Jaguars, by Dave Eggers/llustrated by Woodrow White, (March 2021, Chronicle Books), $18.99, ISBN: 9781452183930

Ages 5-8

Bestselling author Dave Eggers creates a story about a boy, his grandmother, and the wild world. A young boy’s grandmother comes to visit him, with her long, white hair and her spotted black and yellow coat. When his parents leave the two alone, Grandmother suggests the two become jaguars and explore the night! The two roam the night, having adventures, until the boy decides it’s time to head home. Was it all in good fun? Eggers’s dreamlike storytelling has a childlike feel, as he blends the fantastic – “She laughed like great thunder and I laughed like lesser thunder and we jaguared on” – with the adorably kidlike – “I didn’t want to eat raw rabbit so I said I was allergic” – to create a story that will transport readers to rainforests and the Himalayan mountains. Woodrow White’s mixed media illustration opens up an incredible, exotic world. A gatefold panel begins with the boy and his grandmother transforming into jaguars, and opens to place them, fully “jaguared”, in a wild, nighttime world. The grandmother’s jaguar face looks self-assured; the boy’s, tentative, like he’s never quite sure about this whole experience. When the two drink from a lake, their blurred reflections reveal their human faces. Endpapers show the light and dark of their journey, with vines striping the pages, and bursts of color at the edges. A stunning and playful story.

We Became Jaguars has starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and School Library Journal.

Posted in Graphic Novels, Middle Grade, Non-fiction, Teen, Tween Reads, Young Adult/New Adult

Graphic Novels for Tweens and Teens

I’m back with more graphic novels! It’s an all-consuming joy of mine; I love them all. I’ve got some newer and up-and-coming books, and some backlist that shouldn’t be missed. I’ve got books for middle grade/middle school, and I’ve got teen/YA, so let’s see what’s good!

Sylvie, by Sylvie Kantorovitz, (Jan. 2021, Walker Books US), $24.99, ISBN: 9781536207620

Ages 9-13

An autobiographical graphic novel that really hits the sweet spot for middle schoolers but will also appeal to upper elementary and high schoolers, Sylvie is the story of the author and illustrator’s life, quirks and all. She grows up in a school where her father was principal. She loves art from an early age, but her mother is focused on her pursuing a career in math or science. The book follows her family as they add more children to the family and Sylvie’s mother doggedly pushes her academically. As she grows in confidence, and seeks her father’s council, Sylvie takes control of her own future. Artwork is cartoony and friendly, and easy-to-read, first-person narration makes Sylvie readers feel like they’re talking with a friend. Discussions about racism and anti-Semitism in ’60s and ’70s France sets the stage for discussion.

Candlewick/Walker Books US has a sample chapter available for a preview.

 

Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas, by Sam Maggs/Illustrated by Kendra Wells, (Feb. 2021, Amulet), $21.99, ISBN: 9781419739668

Ages 10-14

Another middle school-geared book, Tell No Tales is a fictionalized account of pirate Anne Bonny, pirate Mary Read, and their female and non-binary pirate crew. They have a growing reputation, but a privateer is on their heels: Woodes Rogers, a failed pirate turned pirate hunter for the Crown, has sworn to wipe the stain of piracy from the seas. There are strong positive female and non-binary characters, based on characters from history, but the overall story falters, leaving readers to look for the thread in between the individual stories of Bonny’s crew, all of which are fascinating. The artwork is colorful, manga-inspired, and will grab viewers. Back matter includes a word on the real-life exploits of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, notes, and a bibliography.

Publishers Weekly has an interview with Sam Magga and Kendra Wells. 

Fantastic Tales of Nothing, by Alejandra Green & Fanny Rodriguez, (Nov. 2020, Katherine Tegen Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9780062839473

Ages 8-13

One of the most beautifully illustrated graphic novels I’ve ever seen, Fantastic Tales of Nothing is one of heck an epic fantasy for middle graders and tweens, and early teens. Nathan is a human living what he considers a pretty ordinary life until that fateful day when he wakes up in the middle of nowhere and meets a being named Haven and a race of shape shifters called the Volken. As the unlikely group find themselves on a quest, Nathan also learns that he isn’t that ordinary – he has mysterious power in side of him, and the fate of Nothing lies in his hands. Vivid color, breathtaking fantasy spreads, and solidly constructed worldbuilding lays the foundation for what could be a groundbreaking new fantasy series for middle graders, with nonbinary and Latinx representation to boot. Where are the starred reviews for this book?

Tales of Nothing received IndieNext Honors. The website has more information about the characters, authors, and upcoming projects.

 

Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry, by Julian Peters, (March 2020, Plough Publishing House), $24, ISBN: 9780874863185

Ages 12+

Illustrator Julian Peters has taken 24 poems by some of the most recognizable names in the art form, and brought them to life using different art forms, from manga to watercolor to stark expressionist black and white.  Organized into six areas of introspection: Seeing Yourself; Seeing Others; Seeing Art; Seeing Nature; Seeing Time, and Seeing Death, Peters illustrates such master works as “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou, “Annabel Lee”, by Edgar Allan Poe, and “Juke Box Love Song” by Langston Hughes. It’s a great way to invite middle school, high school, and college students to deep dive into some of the greatest works of poetry.

Marvin: Based on The Way I Was, by Marvin Hamlisch with Gerald Gardner/Adapted and Illustrated by Ian David Marsden, (Feb. 2020, Schiffer Kids), $12.99, ISBN: 9780764359040

Ages 9-13

This graphic adaptation of PEGOT (Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner Marvin Hamlisch’s biography is one I did not see coming! The legendary musician, composer, and conductor discusses his family’s flight from Hitler’s Austria and settling in America, Hamlisch’s admittance to Julliard at the age of 6, and the intense anxiety that plagued him before every performance. He tells readers about attending high school with Christopher Walken and Liza Minelli, and playing the piano for Judy Garland as a teen; about composing pop radio hits and learning to compose music for a motion picture as he went along. By the time he was 30, he’d won his first major award. Hamlisch’s voice is funny, warm, and conversational throughot, and Marsden’s realistic art has touching moments, particularly between Hamlisch and his father. A great read for theatre and music fans – this one is going to be my not-so-secret weapon.

Posted in Fantasy, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

A Deadly Education – this ain’t Hogwarts

A Deadly Education (The Scholomance #1), by Naomi Novik, (Sept. 2020, Penguin Random House), $28.00, ISBN: 9780593128480

Ages 14+

Naomi Novik’s latest fantasy series takes place in a magical school located in the Void, called the Scholomance. There are no teachers, homework and textbooks seem to appear as students need them and cast spells to bring them. There are no Houses, but there are enclaves from major areas like New York and London – and every spellcaster in that school is jockeying for a position in them. Oh, and there are demons and monsters wandering around the school waiting to kill you. Or your fellow students will, if you’re too much of a threat. You think a Zoom graduation stinks? The Scholomance graduation is when all the monsters rush the seniors as they try to leave the building. It’s an all-out brawl for survival to graduate, because to graduate is to live. Enter El, short for “Galadriel”, a half-Indian, half-Welsh magic user with incredible destructive power. She’s also misanthropic to the point of mania, in part because of a rough childhood (see: destructive power) and the fact that her father died protecting her pregnant mother at graduation.

But El realizes she’s got to make friends to survive, and a shining knight named Orion Lake, the school good guy, is determined to get through that antisocial exterior. He saves her life multiple times, to her frustration, but she also discovers that his good deeds are causing major fallout in the school – and a group of students have to come together to set things right.

While I loved the premise of the “dark magic school”, I didn’t fully connect with A Deadly Education. El got on my nerves quickly as the “lone wolf” schtick wore me out; Orion’s stubborn insistence on being the good guy grated, and there were moments when the book just didn’t move forward for me. I normally love Naomi Novik’s writing, but this one wasn’t my book.

A Deadly Education has starred reviews from BookPage and Publishers Weekly.

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

The epic tale of Ronan the Librarian

Ronan the Librarian, by Tara Luebbe & Becky Cattie/Illustrated by Victoria Maderna, (Apr. 2020, Roaring Brook Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781250189219

Ages 3-7

To truly enjoy this writeup, please click here to enjoy The Anvil of Crom from the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack, courtesy of Spotify and CimmercianRecords.com.

The mighty Ronan was a barbarian invader, raider, and trader. He led his people and pillaged the best jewelry, precious metals, weapons, you name it. If you wanted to trade for it, Ronan had it. But when one of Ronan’s raids turned up a chest  of books, he was baffled. Barbarians don’t read, right? What was he supposed to do with these things? No one else wanted them either! Until… well, one night he figured reading a sentence won’t hurt. Maybe a paragraph. A page? Every reader worth their salt knows what happens next: a true disregard of bedtime; Ronan becomes a Reader and seeks out books on all of his pillages from then on. And again, like any true book fan… his collection threatens to overwhelm him. After all, no one else wants the books: Barbarians don’t read! So Ronan builds a library, and decides to entice his fellow barbarians into reading. Like any bookworm knows, one of the best parts about loving books is sharing them with friends! This hilarious, wonderful story about barbarians and books is perfect storytime reading (I’ve got one coming up myself): it’s got adventure, barbarians, and books! Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie create a story that book lovers will relate to, and give a wink, nudge, come to the Book Side for those kids who don’t think they’re readers… yet.

Victoria Maderna’s artwork is cartoony fun, with so many little moments to love: the Viking ship toppling over with books (I feel seen); Ronan riding into battle, axe held high in one hand, book wide open in his other hand; Ronan curled up with a cup of tea amidst his towering pile of books (so precarious!), the swirling, dreamlike story of Odin coming to life as it leaps from a book Ronan reads out loud to his fellow barbarians, and – one of my favorite pieces in the whole story – the bulletin board Ronan puts up in his library, with notes like “Keep Out: This Goat” (sharp-eyed viewers will notice the goat snacking on some books, a few spreads earlier), “Closed During Raids”, and a cautionary “Swords Make Terrible Bookmarks”. Clearly, library signage hasn’t seen the need to evolve much.

I’m gushing with love for Ronan the Librarian because it’s just too much fun and it’s all about discovering the joy of books and reading. Insta-buy for your collections if you don’t already have it. Consider it an investment in your class visits for life. Make sure to visit the authors’ website, and find activities, guides, and more information about their books!

Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade, picture books, Preschool Reads

Picture books by graphic novelists and a graphic novel to welcome your week

How’s everyone doing? Are you all getting the hang of school this year just yet? Me, neither. But I do have some fun books to share, so let’s greet Monday with cheery stories.

 

My Pencil and Me, by Sara Varon, (Sept. 2020, First Second), $18.99, ISBN: 9781596435896

Ages 3-7

I love a good meta picture book, and Sara Varon’s latest, My Pencil and Me, fits that bill wonderfully. Sara herself stars in this story, along with her dog, Sweet Pea, and her special pencil. Not sure what to draw, Sara turns to Pencil for advice, and Pencil is ready and willing to guide her! What unfolds is an entertaining romp through the creative process, where Pencil encourages Sara to “go around and collect ideas”, and “draw recent adventures”. Deciding on the setting of a baseball game she attended last week, Sara creates characters and adds a plot: in this case, a baseball game between imaginary and real friends. When an inevitable conflict arises, Sara must put her story in the hands of the imaginary friends to save the day! It’s adorable, it’s filled with humor, and is a smart guide to creative writing that kids will love. A photo of Varon with the real Pencil and Sweet Pea, and some imaginary friends hanging around, places the reader and makes things a little more tangible. Endpapers highlight different pencils, pens, and paintbrushes strewn about the white background, with our very own Pencil smiling up at us, illustrated, and standing out on its own.

Sara Varon’s artwork is always so much fun to enjoy, with imaginative creatures and animals alongside people and real(ish) situations. There’s overall narration and word bubbles, and panels throughout, making this another addition to picture book/graphic novel shelves. She’s great at capturing small moments, and she’s great at telling larger scale stories, all with her relatable author’s voice and charming artwork. Invite your littles to tell you their own story using Pencil’s guidelines – and, of course, have plenty of Pencils on hand for your littles to personify for themselves. (Or crayons, naturally!)

 

Julia’s House Moves On, by Ben Hatke, (Sept. 2020, First Second), $18.99, ISBN: 9781250191373

Ages 4-8

In a sequel to Ben Hatke’s 2014 story Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, Julia, her house full of friends, and the House itself all realize that it’s time to move on. The only thing is, things don’t always go to plan, and when things get underway before Julia’s plans are ready, she’s got to do some quick thinking. Because Julia always has a plan. The story of what to do when life gets in the way of your plans, Julia’s House Moves On is about endurance, resilience, and maybe – just maybe – the fact that sometimes, it’s okay to throw your plans to the wind.

I have been a Ben Hatke fan for a long time now, and his work never ceases to bring the wonder. Julia’s House Moves On has stunning watercolor work and a story that brings heartache and joy in equal parts. Moments like Julia’s House soaring through the sky; a Sea Queen holding the House in her hands; moments like these and so many more are just breathtaking to behold. There’s magic in these pages. A must-add for your dreamers and your planners alike.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King: The Graphic Novel, by E.T.A. Hoffman/Illustrated and Adapted by Natalie Andrewson, (Sept. 2020, First Second), $18.99, ISBN: 9781596436817

Ages 7-10

Let the holiday book love commence! The graphic novel retelling of the beloved Nutcracker classic is both fantastic and surreal. Organized into 14 chapters, the story of Marie and Fritz Stahlbaum has all the characters readers have come to know – or discover: Fritz’s Hussar soldiers and Marie’s doll, Miss Clarette, the wicked Mouse King and his army, and the Nutcracker. The story unfolds like a fever dream, shifting between Marie’s dreams and the wide-awake storytimes told by their godfather, the children’s uncle Drosselmeyer. It’s manic, often creepy, and a new spin on the classic tale. Give this to your adventure and fantasy fans. An author’s note talks about the original story versus the adaptation that Natalie Andrewson ‘wanted to tell’.

A frenetic adventure that’s going to be read at Christmastime and beyond.

Posted in Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Graphic Novels for fantasy/D&D fans

Scullion: A Dishwasher’s Guide to Mistaken Identity, by Jarad Greene, (July 2020, Oni Press), $19.99, ISBN: 9781620107539

Ages 12+

In the fantasy world of Timberwood Village, The Great Warrior Riqa and her fiancé, Prince Chapp, are the It Couple. Riqa is a celebrated warrior and author, and Prince Chapp is a dashing hunk with muscles on his muscles. Palace scullions Darlis and Mae are paired together for the dishwashing portion of the wedding preparation festivities, but a comedy of errors leads to Darlis being mistaken for Riqa by a couple of enterprising trolls who are hoping to ransom the celeb for a big payday. Mae is captured when he tries to rescue Darlis, but the two rely on their knowledge of Riqa’s book, The Fair Maiden’s Guide to Eating Your Captor for Breakfast”, to save themselves. But the big question remains: Where’s the real Riqa, who’s gone off in search of Prince Chapp?

Scullion is a fun tale of mistaken identity with a lot of character and a healthy dose of realistic humor built into a fantasy world: celebrity gawking and public image stress are two main themes in the work. The artwork is in-your-face bright and moves easily between close-ups and long shots as each character handles journeys, fights, and… book signings?

Fantasy fans will eat this one up. It’s funny, it’s fantasy, it’s a graphic novel, it’s an easy choice for your collections.

 

Savage Beard of She Dwarf, by Kyle Latino, (June 2020, Oni Press), $19.99, ISBN: 978-1620107386

Ages 14+

Savage Beard of She Dwarf began as a webcomic that just finished a 4-year run. She Dwarf – that’s her name – is the descendant of Battle Mother, a celebrated warrior  who died in battle, leaving She Dwarf to believe that she may be the last living dwarf. She undertakes a quest to the Lost Underground Dwarven Kingdom of Dammerung to find answers, joined by a barbarian named Hack Battler, who seeks membership in his own Barbarian Warband.

Fantasy fans will love the feats of strength – sword fighting! Beard fights! – that run throughout the book, but the gore factor can be a little high, so I’d consider this for teens and up. (Give younger fantasy fans the Munchkin comics, though: those are great.) The action is fast, chaotic fun, and the bright and wild colors always give you somewhere to look. If you have fantasy readers, add this one.

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Be careful what you wish for… All Sales Final

All Sales Final, by Sarah S. Reida, (Apr. 2020, Warrior Press), $10.99, ISBN: 978-1-7348170-1-0

Ages 9-13

It’s 1956 in Longford, Illinois, and 11-year-old Anna is tired of being ordinary. Her brother is good at sports and her sister is good at school, but Anna doesn’t think she’s got anything that makes her stand out. That changes when she discovers a strange little shop in town one day. Simply called “Shop”, she wanders in and meets owners Ruth and Vernon, an older couple who call themselves “keepers” and always seem to have whatever a customer most needs at the moment. Anna glimpses a mirror in the shop that seems to reflect what each customer truly wants, and Ruth is delighted that Anna seems to share their gift for “reading”. Ruth offers Anna a job as a shopgirl, and takes the girl under her wing, and Anna finally feels special. But she becomes quickly obsessed with the store, affecting her friendship with her best friend, Carrie; she also notices some changes affecting the town: a beloved teacher turns her back on her students; a store burns down; Anna notices her own sister’s schoolwork suffering. As Ruth pushes Anna to make a difficult life decision, Anna realizes that Ruth isn’t the kindly old storekeeper and mentor she thought she was, and she needs to find a magical solution to save her town and herself.

I loved All Sales Final. Think of it as a Needful Things for middle grade, and you have a good idea of what you’re about to read. Ruth is a warm, cuddly character with a touch of the sinister; Anna is relatable as an ordinary kid who longs to be more: it’s a powerful combination when the two elements come together. Secondary characters are all well-written, having their own backstories and minor subplots, giving nice depth to the story. The “be careful what you wish for” message is strong and speaks to readers on a level they’ll appreciate, and delivering it in a fantastic context makes it a page-turning read. The post-World War II setting strips a lot of technology away, making characters work for a solution and making readers think about how they would cope in a fantasy world that is grounded in the reality of the day: you have magic mirrors, but no ability to text or Google. You have to work for solutions!

Love the character development, love the backstory, love the book. It’s a must for fantasy readers, especially dark fantasy fans who loved books like Neil Gaiman’s Coraline or Holly Black’s Doll Bones. If you haven’t read Sarah Reida’s 2016 book, Monsterville, add that to your pile, too. It’s sorely underrated, and has more great interplay between characters set in a spooky setting.

All Sales Final has a starred review from Kirkus, and is available from libraries and on Kindle for only $2.99!

 

Posted in Fiction, Intermediate, picture books

The Fabulous, the Mysterious, Madame Badobedah!

Madame Badobedah, by Sophie Dahl/Illustrated by Lauren O’Hara, (April 2020, Walker Books), $18.99, ISBN: 9781536210224

Ages 5-8

Mabel is a young girl living in the Mermaid Hotel, where her parents work. There’s always something to see and do at the Mermaid, but when a mysterious, somewhat eccentric old lady moves in, Mabel puts on her detective hat. Madame Badobedah, as Mabel calls her, has simply got to be a supervillain. When Mabel begins investigating Madame Badobedah, she discovers a much softer, kinder, friendlier woman, and the two unlikely friends explore the hotel – and beyond – together.

This is a sweet story of intergenerational friendships, with a Dahl-esque fantastic twist (Sophie Dahl is author Roald Dahl’s granddaughter). Mabel is a smart, curious girl a la Harriet the Spy; Madame Badobedah is a fabulously exotic, mysterious figure that readers can’t help but be drawn to: “She was old, old, old. With red lips. She was not alone. She had two dogs, two cats, a tortoise, and twenty-three bags, all clustered around her like a choir. I thought she might be a little awful”, as Mabel describes her. She calls people “Darlink”, and has “red, crunchy hair”. Dahl’s descriptions are vivid and wonderfully brought to life by Lauren O’Hara, whose watercolor illustrations add a surreal touch to this incredible story. Blue and white beachy endpapers really put the reader into a spring/summer mindset.

Originally published in the UK in 2019, I’m very happy to be welcoming Sophie Dahl to US readers. Great for a read-aloud to school-age readers, Madame Badobedah also allows for an art/English exercise where kids can draw their own versions of Madame Badobedah, a room in the Mermaid Hotel, or where their own hidden corridor would lead to.

Madame Badobedah has starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist.

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

Hollow Dolls takes the Shadow Weaver duology in a new direction

Hollow Dolls, by MarcyKate Connolly, (Jan. 2020, Sourcebooks), $16.99, ISBN: 978-1-4926-8819-8

Ages 9-14

Picking up immediately after the events in Shadow Weaver (2018) and Comet Rising (2019), Hollow Dolls, set in the Shadow Weaver universe, follows Simone and Sebastian, two of Lady Aisling’s captives, as they try and rebuild their lives. Simone is a mind reader, determined to find her lost family – but she has no idea how old she is, having been Lady Aisling’s prisoner, suspended in time, for so long. Sebastian, a memory thief, invites her to stay with him and his sister, Jemma, as she begins her search, and the three decide to head to the Archives to seek information about Simone’s village. After visiting Lady Aisling in prison, Simone and Sebastian discover that a body walker – someone with a talent to control another person – has taken over Jemma, and the two head off on their journey alone. When they meet a woman named Maeve, also headed to the Archives to learn what happened to her family, they’re so relieved to have found someone they can trust, but strange things start happening when the group arrives at the Archives, too.

Hollow Dolls is an expansion of the Shadow Weaver universe, but there’s enough background in the book that new readers should be able to follow along (and most likely, head for the Shadow Weaver books when they’re finished). Simone and Sebastian’s friendship is a strong part of the story, and the Archives staff and other guests have mixed emotions over their presence there, but there’s not enough meat to the characters to invest readers. The world-building is solid and interesting, and I wanted to know more about the Archives. The unraveling revelations are well-played, and readers will like the overall smooth pace of the novel. In short, Hollow Dolls is good; I just wanted more – which is a pretty good thing, overall. Shadow Weaver readers will likely get much more from this.

Author MarcyKate Connolly’s website has more about her books, a link to her blog, and information about her appearances.

 

Posted in Science Fiction, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Space Opera: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse, by K. Eason, (Oct. 2019, DAW), $26, ISBN: 978-0-7564-1529-7

Ages 14+

The first in a duology, How Rory Thorne Broke the Universe starts out with a hard fairy tale line: the new princess is born to the Thorne family line, and fairies come to bestow gifts on her. One fairy is pretty teed off that her invitation… got lost in the mail, let’s say, but there’s no spindle and no curse here. She bestows a dubious gift on the princess; the gift to see through lies of flattery and kiss-uppance. Rory is the first female baby to be born to the Thorne line for a while, so her birth throws things into a bit of a tizzy; it’s a tizzy that’s even more stirred up when a terrorist attack kills her father and the king of a neighboring planetary federation. Her mother gives birth to a male Thorne heir around the same time, which gives us an antagonist to watch out for in the next book.

Rory’s betrothed to the prince of the neighboring federation, and sent to live there while she waits to turn 18 and become his wife. Meanwhile, the Regent –  not her betrothed’s mother, since she also managed to get killed off – is a sleazy minister with his own power game at play. Rory, her body-maid (a badass half-cyborg named Grytt), her Vizier, Rupert, and two guards under Grytt, Thorsdottir and Zhang, keep an eye on things, because the Regent is up to no good. When the Vizier is arrested after trying to poke around and find out the Regent’s deal, Rory takes over and discovers a plot that will have major consequences for Rory, her family, and their corner of the universe. She enters her own Game of Thrones to outwit, outplay, and outlast the Regent.

Rory Thorne is a great character. She’s a smart, savvy teen princess who is ready to defend herself and throw down with anyone who gets in her way. But the book falls a little flat for me. There’s a great deal of worldbuilding, but tends to drone on at points and left me putting down the book to find something else to pique my interest between chapters. Is it YA? It’s definitely YA crossover material. Nothing too violent or overt for teen audiences, but it may not hold your usual readers’ attention. Talk this up with your space opera readers.

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse has a starred review from Kirkus.