Staff Recommendation: The Terror

With the upcoming series The Terror scheduled to air on AMC this March, I decided to take a look at the Dan Simmons novel which inspired it. This thriller about sailors stranded in the Arctic ice is based on the true story of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition in the mid-19th century. During an attempt to find and plot the so-called Northwest Passage, a treacherous venture through frozen territory, over one hundred crewmen and two British warships — one of which was HMS Terror — vanished in the ice.

Book cover for Dan Simmons's The Terror

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200 Years of Frankenstein: This Monstrous Thing

Way back on the first of January, 1818, a slim, but riveting novel about a mad scientist and his monstrous creation was released to the public. It was called Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, and is thought by many to be the first true science fiction novel. By 1823, Mary Wolstencraft Shelley was finally credited as the author, earning her lasting fame and an endless stream of imitators.

Victor Frankenstein and his monster have been adapted into film and television almost as many times as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, iconic cinematic characters that keep Halloween stores stocked and profitable, and Gothic horror fans like me always hunting for more. In honor of Shelley’s contribution to Gothic literature, which turns 200 this year, I decided to look at a remarkable reinvention of the same story: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee.

Book Cover: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

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Staff Recommendation: The Language of Thorns

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic, an imaginative addition to Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha novels, was originally intended to be a prequel. What it became instead was a collection of fairy tales filtered through the lens of Bardugo’s fictional world, the stories that its children may have been told at bedtime.

Book cover for Leigh Bardugo's "The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic"

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Staff Recommendation: Leia, Princess of Alderaan

I’m back with another Star Wars review! As we seem to be ending every year on a new Star Wars movie–a trend I’m very much in favor of, by the way–we are also getting new accompanying novels to lead up to the latest film. This year’s crop of stories is subtitled “Journey to The Last Jedi,” in anticipation of Episode VIII coming out this December.

The first I read is Claudia Gray’s Leia, Princess of Alderaan. Gray is the same author who wrote Lost Stars, which may be my favorite Star Wars book to date. I’m happy to say she has more than fulfilled the high expectations I have for her work.

Book cover for "Star Wars: Leia, Princess of Alderaan" by Claudia Gray

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