Fiction Reviews

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

A wonderfully written modern space opera, Leckie's debut novel is the right mix of broad, intriguing galactic/political unknown coupled with compelling, multi-faceted (quite literally) characters. Fresh, engaging and complex, Ancillary Justice was one of my favorite books of the year. Recommended by Alex.

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316246620
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Published: Orbit - October 1st, 2013

The only novel ever to win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards and the first book in Ann Leckie's New York Times bestselling trilogy.
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman

Elinor Lipman’s delightful new novel The View from Penthouse B is the witty tale of unexpectedly widowed Gwen, who moves in with her divorced sister Margot. Margot’s ex-husband is a fertility doctor (much scandal in that divorce…), and they lost money in a Ponzi scheme. There is a third tenant, cupcake-baker Timothy.

The View from Penthouse B Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544228078
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Published: Mariner Books - April 8th, 2014

"It's all wonderful fun. Lipman sketches her characters' foibles with amused affection and moves the plot forward with practiced ease." - Washington Post

The Wisdom of the Myths by Luc Ferry

A wonderful introduction to the tropes and concerns of Greek mythology. Written for a lay audience, Ferry's guide suggests that the lessons of Tantalus, Sisyphus, and Orpheus have much to teach us about the role of harmony - peace of mind, cosmic justice, and a sense of fairness - in our world today. Engaging, informative, and compelling! Recommended by Chip.

The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life (Learning to Live) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062215451
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Published: Harper Perennial - January 7th, 2014

More than 100,000 copies sold in France

A fascinating new journey through Greek mythology that explains the myths' timeless lessons and meaning

Moby Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville

One of the most captivating, bizarre, and wondrous novels I've ever read. Melville really turns prose into poetry...some passages continue to reverberate in me to this day. Plus, who can resist the line: "They are fighting Quakers; they are Quakers with a vengeance." Worth all of the effort...I'm still rereading it years later. Recommended by Chip.

Moby Dick Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062085641
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Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - June 7th, 2011

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

“Call me Ishmael.”

Old Filth

Failed In London Try Hong Kong. Once you get the title, you see what a clever, witty book this will be.It's the story of "Raj orphan," a young red-headed Scot born in Malaya (Malaysia) and sent at age five to England to be educated. Brillian, handsome, charismatic, he becomes Old Filth.Great story, wonderfully told!

Old Filth Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933372136
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Published: Europa Editions - June 1st, 2006

Book One in Jane Gardam's Old Filth Trilogy

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells

Fans of P.G. Wodehouse: rejoice! Sebastian Faulks has written a delightful new novel, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, a very funny homage to Wodehouse’s idyllic England and the escapades of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster as depicted in his many humorous novels. Faulks has masterfully captured the original nuances, humor and language. It’s just a joy to slip into this world again!

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250047595
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: St. Martin's Press - November 5th, 2013

Bertie Wooster (a young man about town) and his butler Jeeves (the very model of the modern manservant) return in their first new novel in nearly forty years: "Jeeves and the Wedding Bells" by Sebastian Faulks.

Box of Matches

In this novel, very little "happens," but everything happens to the narrator in the darkness of the very early morning. This moving and humorous book will make you feel better about getting up in the morning. Recommended by Kelly and Pat.

A Box of Matches (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375706035
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Published: Vintage - March 9th, 2004

Emmett has a wife and two children, a cat, and a duck, and he wants to know what life is about. Every day he gets up before dawn, makes a cup of coffee in the dark, lights a fire with one wooden match, and thinks.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Another Raven staff member favorite summer read.

Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a captivating tale deeply rooted in memory and childhood. In much the same vein as his other works, Gaiman combines a mystic and imaginative world with empathetic, compelling, and remarkable characters. Narrated with the brutal honesty and ignorance of a

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062255655
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Published: William Morrow - June 18th, 2013

A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi Boys.

This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real...


John Lanchester's very pleasurable novel Capital gives the reader glimpses into the lives of the residents who live on Pepys Road in London, at the beginning of the financial crisis:  a banker, a shopaholic wife, Pakistani shopkeepers, a Hungarian nanny, a Polish builder, a millionaire graffiti artist, a Senegalese soccer star

Capital Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393345094
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 28th, 2013

Each house on Pepys Road, an ordinary street in London, has seen its fair share of first steps and last breaths, and plenty of laughter in between.