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Best Reviewed Books – FEBRUARY

JUSTICE DENIED

 By Roger Lawrence

Genre: Biography

IR Verdict: JUSTICE DENIED by Roger Lawrence is both riveting and disturbing and relays the true-to-life tale about how the judicial system can steal people’s livelihoods and lives, working them over for reasons that have little, if anything, to do with serving actual justice.

Read the full review here.

UP FOR AIR

By Christina Berry

Genre: Romance

IR Verdict: UP FOR AIR is a passionate, well-written novel that strikes the perfect balance between racy and riveting with a stunning narrative about self-discovery wrapped in the sensual embellishments of an adventurous love story.

Read the full review here.

LOVING MODIGLIANI

By Linda Lappin

Genre: Literary Fiction

IR Verdict: LOVING MODIGLIANI: THE AFTERLIFE OF JEANNE HEBUTERNE is singularly unique and intensely ambitious and an utter joyride for any reader deciding to take the journey.

Read the full review here.

THIS WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BASKETBALL

By Craig Leener

Genre: Young Adult

IR Verdict: A feel-good coming of age tale, THIS WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BASKETBALL is a delightful, funny, and heartfelt young adult adventure that combines a love of basketball with the importance of friendship.

Read the full review here.

SUPER PROBLEMS

By Jason R. Lady

Genre: Fantasy

IR Verdict:

After zooming through the amusing middle-reader novel, SUPER PROBLEMS by Jason R. Lady–in which vocabularies and imaginations will be delightfully stretched–no reader (young or old) will ever again wonder what’s happening when one sock in a pair inexplicably goes missing. 
 
Read the full review here.

BAD MEDICINE

By Geoffrey M Cooper

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

IR Verdict: Bold storytelling, a sensitive portrayal of relationship problems and a taut whodunit makes BAD MEDICINE another winner for Geoffrey M Cooper.

Read the full review here.

THE MONEY

 By David Shawn Klein

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

IR Verdict: THE MONEY is an outstanding thriller–fast-paced and fun–filled with outrageous twists, genuine mystery, and acerbic wit. 

Read the full review here.

PLAYING SOLDIER

By F. Scott Service

Genre: Memoir

IR Verdict: PLAYING SOLDIER is a gripping memoir of life, war, loss, and recovery that effectively conveys the fear and  horror of a shell-shocked veteran who had once romanticized the idea of being a soldier.

Read the full review here.

THREAT (The City of the Magicians Book 1)

 By Peter Gribble

Genre: Fantasy

IR Verdict: Peter Gribble’s THREAT (The City of the Magicians Book 1) is an exquisitely crafted, richly textured world of magic and mystery, with settings and mood so exceptionally well visualized that fans of science fiction and fantasy should not pass up the chance to walk inside.

Read the full review here.

THE ORDINARY LEADER

By Geoff Lew

Genre: Self Help

IR Verdict: Geoff Lew draws from ancient Chinese military strategist Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War to provide a broad-reaching advice book that will help readers improve their outlook, focus, and their chances of achieving success, no matter their goals.

Read the full review here.

THE BEGINNING AND END OF ALL THINGS

By Alex Ganon, Turi T. Armstrong, K.E. Barron, Adan Geesi, Edmond B. Belisle, Matthew Stuart Evans, Nick Nikolov, George Sandifer-Smith, J.P. Withers

Genre: Science Fiction

IR Verdict: While most anthologies, regardless of genre, are hit-and-miss, THE BEGINNING & END OF ALL THINGS is mostly hits–wondrous stories with relatable characters that explore the far reaches of space and the limits of technology. 

Read the full review here.

JOEY AND THE BODACIOUS BEANS

By Joe Swinger

Genre: Children’s (Board books and Pre-reading)

IR Verdict: Fun and insightful, JOEY AND THE BODACIOUS BEANS uses lively prose, engaging characters, and cheerful illustrations to teach young readers the importance of cultivating tolerance, empathy, forgiveness, and other important virtues.

Read the full review here.

JOSEPHUS

By B. Michael Antler

Genre: Historical Fiction

IR Verdict:

B. Michael Antler’s JOSEPHUS is a grand relaying of the incredible tale of first-century Judean historian Flavius Josephus, during a remote and dynamic period in Western history.
 
Read the full review here.

RANGERKNIGHTS

By W. G. Hladky

Genre: Science Fiction

IR Verdict: RANGERKNIGHTS is a sci-fi fan’s delight: it is full of action, granular details, and rich characters who must face familiar battles in an unfamiliar war.

Read the full review here.

THE GIRL IN CELL 49B 

By Dorian Box

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

IR Verdict: The transfixing Emily Calby series continues with THE GIRL IN CELL 49B, the standout sequel from Dorian Box featuring a fierce female main character, a perfectly planned and paced plot, and a strong sense of theme. 

Read the full review here.

SISTERS OF THE VINE

By Linda Rosen

Genre: Women’s Fiction

IR Verdict: SISTERS OF THE VINE is a sweet, tender novel about a woman finding her calling at a tumultuous time with the help of other women.

Read the full review here.

LATVIAN FOLKTALES

By Astrida Barbins-Stahnke

Genre: Short Stories

IR Verdict: LATVIAN FOLKTALES is a fun, easy-to-read, and cozy compilation of ancient folktales from the Baltic. Here, in several different yarns, the majesty and mystery of nature are underlined for all ages alongside fantastic illustrations.

Read the full review here.

EMERGENCE

By Ellie Beals

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

IR Verdict: A slow-burn thriller, EMERGENCE by Ellie Beals interlaces the stories of 13-year Xavier, a young naturalist raised in the remote woods of Western Quebec and the subject of his observations, a middle-aged woman named Cass, her three dogs, and an assortment of friends and foes–the latter of which may be a threat to her life.

Read the full review here.

BLACK RIFLE

By Alex Davidson

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

IR Verdict: BLACK RIFLE is an effective, fast-paced murder mystery that looks at gun culture in America from both sides of the political fence.  A treat for Robert Ludlum and Joseph Wambaugh fans.

Read the full review here.
 

BEYOND THE PALE BLUE SUN

By Kip Koelsch

Genre: Science Fiction

IR Verdict: Unique world-building, myriad characters, and themes of natural balance versus technological advancement make Kip Koelsch’s BEYOND THE PALE BLUE SUN an engaging second-in-a-series novel.

Read the full review here.

BILLY GOATS GRUFF: The Origin

By Roar Alexander Mikalsen

Genre: Inspirational/ Spiritual

IR Verdict: BILLY GOATS GRUFF: The Origin by Roar Alexander Mikalsen is a thoughtful and engaging tale that uses the fable of the “Three Billy Goats Gruff” to probe philosophical questions which are deeply relevant for our times.

Read the full review here.

GRIMDARK: Tales of Exile

By Kyle Fox

Genre: Fantasy

IR Verdict: Best read as a supplement to Kyle Fox’s fantasy series of which GRIMDARK: Tales of Exile is a spin-off, this short novella–featuring striking, vivid language–shows that gritty relentlessness, despite indomitable circumstances, can sometimes pay off.

Read the full review here.