Staff Pick

Here's a fantasy novel that is mature without being gratuitous, magical without losing sight of the psychology of its characters, able to paint the world in shades of grey but brave enough to take a side. It pulls tricks on the reader and never once feels cheap. One third of the novel is in the second person, and it works! If you watched Game of Thrones with ambivalence and longed for something contemporaneous with the heightened social awareness of the 2000s rather than the sturm und drang of the 90s, this may be your best shot. Plus it deservedly won the Hugo Award this year, proving that even when the world seems to be ending there's hope somewhere out there.

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316229296
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Orbit - August 4th, 2015

Comics can be about anything from superheroes to school life to scraping by in the city. Orange is a comic about saving a life. A young girl receives a series of notes from her future self, informing her that in a short time the new transfer student will die. Can she overcome her anxieties to be the friend to him she should have been, and maybe something more? Comics for girls are as plentiful in Japan as comics for guys, and while unpolished in some ways, Orange represents an unusually thoughtful take on the field. A romantic melodrama it may be, but one where taking the time to understand a hurt and anxious person is the most important thing in the world.

orange: The Complete Collection 1 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781626923027
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Seven Seas - January 26th, 2016

You could draw comparisons to Angela Carter or some contemporary writers, but really there's no-one else in the game putting out stories exactly like Kelly Link's. Get in Trouble seemed to me more accessible than her earlier collections, but its mix of the surreal (whether that be superheroes, devils, Summer People or other beings) and the tangled realities of human relationships remains the same. They can be elliptical, inscrutiable, but while her stories don't always end on a "satisfying" note you could argue that what is withheld is as crucial as what is given. In life as in stories.

Get in Trouble: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812986495
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 9th, 2016