Reviews of the Week, with Lauren Oliver, Kristin Cashore, Ken Burns, and More!

Every weekday, we feature a different review on Booklist Online that highlights starred reviews, high-demand titles, and / or titles especially relevant to our current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from August 21 through August 25 so that you can revisit the week’s best books.


Monday, August 21

Ringer, by Lauren Oliver

Lyra’s and Gemma’s parallel stories conclude in this thoughtful, thrilling sequel to Replica (2016), Oliver’s near-future drama about human clones and corporate greed. Three weeks after escaping Haven, Lyra and Caelum are ostensibly safe, living in a Tennessee trailer park with Lyra’s biological father. While Lyra’s had trouble adjusting to Outside and the idea of being human, Caelum seems unable to adapt. The only thing keeping him going is Lyra, and she’s dying.





Tuesday, August 22

Jane, Unlimited, by Kristin Cashore

When Jane receives an invitation to attend a gala at the island mansion Tu Reviens, she accepts—not because she wants to go, but because her adored (and recently deceased) Aunt Magnolia made her promise to visit Tu Reviens if she ever got the chance. Bizarre personages and events fill the palatial home, including art theft, kidnapping, a secret organization, flirtations, and seemingly impossible twists of fate, all of which the impetuous Jane faces with a devoted basset hound sidekick.


Wednesday, August 23

 The Book of Swords, by Gardner Dozois

Winner of 15 Hugo Awards, Gardner Dozois commissioned these original stories from the best writers of modern sword and sorcery, including one by George R. R. Martin set in the Westeros of his Game of Thrones novels. As you would expect from this editor, each story is different, each a gem. A fabulous sampler of writers who know the long and short of epic fantasy.





Thursday, August 24

 Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, by Julie C. Dao

How far would you go to fulfill your destiny? That is the question that plagues 18-year-old Xifeng. While years of manual labor and near starvation in her poor village have convinced her of her own insignificance, part of Xifeng clings desperately to the darkly magical card readings that link Xifeng’s extraordinary beauty to a great and majestic destiny, but one she can achieve only if she embraces the evil blood magic that lives within her.


Friday, August 25

 The Vietnam War: An Intimate History, by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns

In their new “intimate” yet capacious history, the award-winning, audience-enthralling duo of historian and screenwriter Ward and documentarian extraordinaire Burns investigate the complex, divisive, and tragic Vietnam War from a unique plurality of perspectives. With reflections by prominent journalists and writers, including Philip Caputo and Viet Thanh Nguyen, this is a vivid, affecting, definitive, and essential illustrated history.




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