Also of interest... in ready-made worlds
by Edgar Cantero (Doubleday, $27)
Edgar Cantero’s “enjoyably batty” new novel crossbreeds Scooby Doo with H.P. Lovecraft, said Brian Truitt in USA Today. The “meddling kids” of the title were once teen sleuths like the Scooby gang, and they’ve reunited years later at the site of a presumably solved crime that still haunts them. “Quicker than you can say ‘ruh-roh,’ they discover the place still has a monster problem,” and “the story proves as cleverly witty as its title—filled with high jinks both terrorizing and hilarious.”
Pages for Her
by Sylvia Brownrigg (Counterpoint, $26)
“One of the greatest joys of entering a new book occurs when we notice that its voice gives steady pleasure,” said Joan Frank in the San Francisco Chronicle. In this sequel to a 2001 novel, Flannery Jansen is a married 38-year-old San Francisco mother whose restless mind draw us in instantly, even before a letter arrives inviting her to a Yale writers conference hosted by the woman she shared an intense affair with 20 years earlier. A “deeply thoughtful” and absorbing story follows.
by Christina Henry (Berkley, $15)
In her latest reworking of a children’s classic, Christina Henry “gleefully slaughters a host of sacred cows,” said Eric Brown in TheGuardian.com. Having already given Alice in Wonderland an effectively grim twist in The Chronicles of Alice series, Henry this time presents a Peter Pan who goes through young, vulnerable playmates so cavalierly that Captain Hook starts to look like the good guy. And that’s even before his old friend Peter grows vengeful.
Minecraft: The Island
by Max Brooks (Del Rey, $18)
If you’re a grumpy adult, you might quickly write off Max Brooks’ new young-adult novel as fun but empty fan fiction, said Jason Sheehan in NPR.org. But Max Brooks’ novel set in the universe of the online game Minecraft is both “a fascinating experiment in world building” and a rollicking adventure—a “Robinson Crusoe for the digital age.” Brooks, the author of World War Z, scrupulously adheres to the game’s odd logic and physics and cleverly sneaks in a series of life lessons as he goes.