Less Than Hero by S.G. Browne
With the razor-sharp satire that earned him rave reviews for Big Egos and Lucky Bastard, among others, S.G. Browne delivers another irresistible read, about an unlikely band of heroes who use their medical complications to gain fame, confront villains, and bring their own unique brand of justice to New York City.
Faster than a spreading rash! More powerful than dry heaves! Able to put villains to sleep with a single yawn!
Convulsions. Nausea. Headaches. Sudden weight gain. For the pharmaceutical soldiers on the front lines of medical science—volunteers who test experimental drugs for cash—these common side effects are a small price to pay to defend your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of antidepressants.
Lloyd Prescott, thirty-year-old professional guinea pig and victim of his own inertia, is the first to notice the bizarre, seemingly implausible consequences of years of testing not-quite-legal drugs: his lips go numb, he becomes overwhelmed with exhaustion, and instantly a stranger crumples into a slumbering heap before him. Under cover of night, Lloyd and his guinea pig friends band together to project their debilitating side effects onto petty criminals who prey upon the innocent. When a horrible menace with powers eerily similar to their own threatens the city, only one force can stop this evil: the handful of brave men who routinely undergo clinical trials.
“One of America’s best satiric novelists” (Kirkus Reviews), S. G. Browne fills the prescription for a hilarious and biting commentary on our overmedicated society. Citizens, rest assured that tonight, no matter your ailment—anxiety, depression, super villains—there’s a pill to save the day.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: This loveable band of misfit superheroes get their powers from being guinea pigs for pharmaceutical drug companies. Check out our full review of the novel that has all the humor and satire we love from S.G. Browne.
The Lost Herondale: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
Simon learns the worst crime a Shadowhunter can commit: desertion of their comrades. In the early nineteenth century, Tobias Herondale abandoned his fellow Shadowhunters in the heat of battle and left them to die. His life was forfeit, but Tobias never returned, and the Clave claimed his wife’s life in exchange for Tobias’s. Simon and his fellow students are shocked to learn of this brutality, especially when it is revealed the woman was pregnant. But what if the child survived…could there be a lost Herondale line out in the world today?
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Hey, it’s a brand new story that expands the world of the Shadowhunter series and continues to prove that Shadowhunters are the actual worst.
Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan
It’s Tiny Cooper’s turn in the spotlight in this companion novel to New York Times bestseller Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
Jazz hands at the ready! Tiny Cooper (“the world’s largest person who is also really, really gay”) stole readers’ hearts when he was introduced to the world in the New York Times bestselling book Will Grayson, Will Grayson, co-authored by John Green and David Levithan. Now Tiny finally gets to tell his story—from his fabulous birth and childhood to his quest for true love and his infamous parade of ex-boyfriends—the way he always intended: as a musical! Filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers, the novel is told through the full script of the musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Tiny Cooper, the larger than life character in David Levithan and John Green’s novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson gets a spin-off book centered around the musical he writes in the original novel.
A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction by Terry Pratchett
A collection of short fiction from Terry Pratchett, spanning the whole of his writing career from schooldays to Discworld and the present day.
In the four decades since his first book appeared in print, Terry Pratchett has become one of the world’s best-selling and best-loved authors. Here for the first time are his short stories and other short-form fiction collected into one volume. A Blink of the Screen charts the course of Pratchett’s long writing career: from his schooldays through to his first writing job on the Bucks Free Press, and the origins of his debut novel, The Carpet People; and on again to the dizzy mastery of the phenomenally successful Discworld series.
Here are characters both familiar and yet to be discovered; abandoned worlds and others still expanding; adventure, chickens, death, disco and, actually, some quite disturbing ideas about Christmas, all of it shot through with Terry’s inimitable brand of humour. With an introduction by Booker Prize-winning author A.S. Byatt, illustrations by the late Josh Kirby and drawings by the author himself, this is a book to treasure.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: A gorgeous re-release of this Terry Pratchett collection. Sobs for forever.
The Whisper: The Riverman Trilogy – Book II by Aaron Starmer
Twelve-year-old Alistair Cleary has washed up on shore. But where? It seems to be Aquavania, the magical realm where children create entire worlds from their imagination. There’s something wrong, though. The creators have disappeared and the worlds are falling apart.
All Alistair wants is to find his friend Fiona Loomis and go home. Easier said than done. Animals made of starlight, a megalomaniacal boy king, and astronauts who peddle riddles are hard enough to outwit, but they’re only the beginning.
To find Fiona, Alistair must travel from world to world. He must confront the mistakes of his past. And he must face countless monsters, including the soul-stealing stalker that some people call the Riverman, the merciless but misunderstood servant of Aquavania who refers to himself as the Whisper.
WHY WE’RE EXCITED: We’ve already read Starmer’s debut novel in this series — The Riverman (review here) — and based on that look into the magical and horrifying world he created, the second book is sure to be a treat.