A fast-paced and entirely satisfying conclusion to Mistborn’s second era.

THE LOST METAL

A fantasy adventure about a race to stop a group of fanatics from destroying the world.

Waxillium Ladrian is a senator now, desperately trying to use his influence to prevent a civil war in his homeland of the Basin. Marasi and Wayne are partners, official constables charged with keeping the peace. But when Marasi encounters a member of the shadowy Set with unnatural powers who makes a bleak prophecy about the world ending in ash and darkness and uncovers a perplexing Set plot to smuggle material into—not out of—the city of Elendel, the whole group is soon drawn back into the world-saving business. Then Wax accidentally demonstrates that using a mysterious metal called trellium to attempt to split harmonium into its component metals causes massive explosions. If the Set were to gain this information, the result could be a cataclysmic blast. In Sanderson’s capable hands, the first third of the novel moves along at a steady pace, setting up this new adventure while still allowing plenty of time for readers to reacquaint themselves with the charming characters who people this chapter of the Mistborn saga. Once the team heads for the Outer City of Bilming, the pace picks up to breakneck speed, and the bulk of the novel is spent rushing to uncover the plot and prevent disaster. Evil gods, visitors from other parts of the Cosmere, underground bunkers—this is an action-packed adventure that also drops plenty of hints about where the Mistborn saga might go from here.

A fast-paced and entirely satisfying conclusion to Mistborn’s second era.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-76-539119-3

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

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FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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An often riveting yarn if you buy into the premise.

THE ATLAS PARADOX

In the second of a series of fantasy thrillers that began with The Atlas Six (2022), new initiates of a secret magical society confront a web of dangerous conspiracies.

Atlas Blakely, Caretaker of the Alexandrian Society, collected his latest crop of initiates with the secret intention of using their magical talents to create a wormhole into the multiverse in search of a better world. His former ally, the time traveler Ezra Fowler, believes that Atlas’ quest will destroy their current world, and in an effort to stop him, he has kidnapped one of Atlas’ prospective initiates (and Ezra’s ex-girlfriend), Libby Rhodes, trapping her 30 years in the past. Meanwhile, the initiation ritual intended to unite the remaining group has only succeeded in driving the already contentious initiates further apart. As Ezra embarks on an uneasy alliance with the Society’s rivals and a furious Libby struggles for the knowledge and resources she needs to return to her present, the initiates pursue various arcane researches, try to understand why the library archives are denying them certain books, fight among themselves, and confront a number of threats from both inside and outside the Society headquarters. Although all of this sounds thrilling (and it is), the series is still primarily concerned with the interior of the characters’ heads (a situation complicated by the presence of two telepaths and an empath). These are broken, self-obsessed people who can’t stop either ruminating over their perceived flaws or pretending they aren’t there while simultaneously being annoyed by, poking at, and/or exploiting the flaws of their compatriots. The author highlights the dangerous selfishness of these behaviors with minor character Belen Jiménez, a Filipina undergraduate whom Libby meets and takes considerable advantage of in 1989 Los Angeles. Belen believes Libby (who’s supposed to be the most moral member of the Atlas Six) is a sympathetic friend who can boost her academic career; that misapprehension brutally alters the course of Belen’s life. The success of the book hinges on whether or not the reader finds these often unlikable protagonists sympathetic in spite of themselves, or at least interesting specimens of psychological damage.

An often riveting yarn if you buy into the premise.

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-25-085509-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: Oct. 4, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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