A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (★★★★☆½)
Everyone’s favorite smutty couple is back in this lengthy novella that bridges the gap between ACOWAR and the next — as of yet untitled — book in the ACOTAR series. While it was great to hang out with all my friends again, I think Maas spent too much time setting tiny things into motion for her next trilogy (wasn’t there enough of that in ACOWAR?) when all I wanted was 200 pages of Feysand fan fiction.
Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau (★★★☆☆½)
I had high hopes for Dividing Eden, a young adult novel whose premise promised to focus on an epic, backstabbing rivalry between two royal twins fighting over one throne. Unfortunately, the rivalry was far from believable thanks to a main character who suddenly becomes a murderous monster after one five-minute conversation at a party. It’s not really character development if it develops from nowhere.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (★★★★☆½)
Michelle McNamara is the queen of compulsively readable true crime. Sadly, she suddenly passed away before she could finish the first (of what should have been many) nonfiction books, leaving the novel to be finished by her two researchers. Despite this setback, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark still feels like a mostly complete look at the rapist and serial-killer McNamara dubbed the Golden State Killer. And a unique glimpse at the true crime author who was obsessed with discovering his identity.
Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris by David King
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary: Paris, 1944, rue Le Sueur. A thick, strange smelling smoke emanating from the house next door prompted neighbors to call the police. When no one answered, police broke in and discovered a truly chilling scene: dismembered body parts being burned, what appeared to be a torture chamber, and a pit filled with a mixture of body parts from countless people. The owner of the building was soon identified as Dr. Marcel Petiot, a wealthy physician who quickly disappeared upon the discovery of this gruesome crime. What follows is a hunt for this killer and the motives he could have for killing. Was he a member of the Resistance movement? Or perhaps working for the Gestapo? Police Commissaire Georges-Victor Massu must unravel the mystery and identities of the many victims, and find Petiot before he disappears in the upheaval of War World II.
Since I ended 2011 with a paranormal note, I decided to start the year off with a cheery, light-hearted romp through true crime. Nothing says “happy new year!” like 350 pages of horrifying and heartbreaking murders that leave you with literal chills and a strong desire to clutch your loved ones close.