Science Fiction & Fantasy at Top Ten Books

EDITORS CHOICE - Brisingr

Brisingr (Inheritance, Book 3) by Christopher Paolini
- OATHS SWORN . . . loyalties tested . . . forces collide.

Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

First is Eragon’s oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran’s beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix’s clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength—as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices— choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.

Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?
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Top Ten Sci-Fi

The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, Book 1) by James Patterson - In James Patterson's blockbuster series, fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"--Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel--are just like ordinary kids--only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time...like when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of wack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare--this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf "Erasers" in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father-figure Jeb--now her betrayed and greatest enemy--that her purpose is save the world--but can she?


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The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - This extraordinary, magical novel is the story of Clare and Henry who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. His disappearances are spontaneous and his experiences are alternately harrowing and amusing. The Time Traveler's Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare's passionate love for each other with grace and humour. Their struggle to lead normal lives in the face of a force they can neither prevent nor control is intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.
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Eclipse -
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New Moon by Stephenie Meyer -
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Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) by Stephenie Meyer - When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life--first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse--seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever?

The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.Great love stories thrive on sacrifice. Throughout The Twilight Saga (Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse), Stephenie Meyer has emulated great love stories--Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights--with the fated, yet perpetually doomed love of Bella (the human girl) and Edward (the vampire who feeds on animals instead of humans). In Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final installment in the series, Bella’s story plays out in some unexpected ways. The ongoing conflicts that made this series so compelling--a human girl in love with a vampire, a werewolf in love with a human girl, the generations-long feud between werewolves and vampires--resolve pretty quickly, apparently so that Meyer could focus on Bella’s latest opportunity for self-sacrifice: giving her life for someone she loves even more than Edward. How close she comes to actually making that sacrifice is questionable, which is a big shift from the earlier books. Even though you knew Bella would make it through somehow, the threats to her life, and to her relationship with Edward, had previously always felt real. It’s as if Meyer was afraid of hurting her characters too much, which is unfortunate, because the pain Bella suffered at losing Edward in New Moon, and the pain Jacob suffered at losing Bella again and again, are the fire and the heart that drive the whole series. Diehard fans will stick with Bella, Edward, and Jacob for as many twists and turns as possible, but after most of the characters get what they want with little sacrifice, some readers may have a harder time caring what happens next. (Ages 12 and up) --Heidi Broadhead
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Darkfever (Fae) by Karen Marie Moning - MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman.

Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death - a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone - Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed - a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae…

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane - an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women - closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book - because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands…

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The Brass Bed by Jennifer Stevenson - “Funny, frisky, and far out! Jennifer Stevenson’s writing is naughty and irresistible.”
–Julie Kistler, author of Scandal

THE CURSE: Satisfy one hundred women or be trapped in a brass bed forever
Lord Randall was a lousy lover in 1811, so his magician-mistress turned him into a sex demon. Lucky for him, his bed fell into Clay’s hands.

THE CON: Sex therapy for women on an antique brass “treatment bed”
Clay has the perfect scam going, until that pesky, foxy fraud investigator Jewel comes sniffing around. Lucky for him, she has a soft spot for hunky con men.

THE CHOICE: Sex demon or sex fraudster?
Jewel is Randy’s hundredth woman. Now he says he’s her personal sex slave, and her case against the con artist is dissolving in a hail of hormones. Lucky for her, she’s a tough cop with a lusty libido.
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A Study Guide to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Elizabeth Bennet's romance with Mr. Darcy comes to life in Austen's charming comedy of manners, in an audio package containing a helpful guide for students. Narrated by Sheila Allen, Roger Rees, and Francia DiMase.In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet -- a country squire of no great means and his scatterbrained wife -- must marry off their five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are the headstrong second daughter Elizabeth and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy, two lovers in whom pride and prejudice must be overcome before love can bring the novel to its magnificent conclusion.
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Twilight (The Twilight Saga) by Stephenie Meyer - The #1 New York Times bestseller is available for the first time in a mass market paperback edition, featuring a striking movie tie-in cover.


Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.The book that started the phenomenon is now available in a deluxe collector's edition! Featuring a ribbon bookmark, cloth cover, ragged edges, new chapter opener designs, and a beautiful protective slipcase, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.
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The Briar King (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1) by Greg Keyes - Two thousand years ago, the Born Queen defeated the Skasloi lords, freeing humans from the bitter yoke of slavery. But now monstrous creatures roam the land—and destinies become inextricably entangled in a drama of power and seduction. The king’s woodsman, a rebellious girl, a young priest, a roguish adventurer, and a young man made suddenly into a knight—all face malevolent forces that shake the foundations of the kingdom, even as the Briar King, legendary harbinger of death, awakens from his slumber. At the heart of this many-layered tale is Anne Dare, youngest daughter of the royal family . . . upon whom the fate of her world may depend.The Briar King, Greg Keyes's latest elegant entry into the world of high fantasy, lays the groundwork for what promises to be a mesmerizing four-book series--the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone. Keyes spins his tale in a meticulously crafted fantasy realm on the brink of apocalyptic change. The Briar King, a legend cobbled from children's stories and rural folklore, is waking from his slumber to an unknown but cataclysmic end. Dark agents are afoot in the land, stirring war and edging an ancient prophecy closer to fulfillment. In destiny's path are a king's woodsman, his headstrong lover, a bookworm priest, a cocksure swordsman, and the embattled (from within and without) kingdom of Crotheny. Keyes masterfully intertwines far-off courtly intrigue with the personal quest of the woodsman and his brave companions who seek to unravel the secret of the Briar King before all is lost.

Although The Briar King will suffer the inevitable comparison with George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, it should be said that Keyes's work is no mere rip-off. This is excellent world building, applied with a dark, powerful touch that should convince Martin fans to become Keyes fans, too. --Jeremy Pugh
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Top Authors

The Briar King (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1) by J. Gregory Keyes - In the kingdom of Crotheny, two young girls are playing in the tangled gardens of the sacred city of the dead when they stumble upon the unknown crypt of a legendary ancestral queen.The Briar King, Greg Keyes's latest elegant entry into the world of high fantasy, lays the groundwork for what promises to be a mesmerizing four-book series--the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone. Keyes spins his tale in a meticulously crafted fantasy realm on the brink of apocalyptic change. The Briar King, a legend cobbled from children's stories and rural folklore, is waking from his slumber to an unknown but cataclysmic end. Dark agents are afoot in the land, stirring war and edging an ancient prophecy closer to fulfillment. In destiny's path are a king's woodsman, his headstrong lover, a bookworm priest, a cocksure swordsman, and the embattled (from within and without) kingdom of Crotheny. Keyes masterfully intertwines far-off courtly intrigue with the personal quest of the woodsman and his brave companions who seek to unravel the secret of the Briar King before all is lost.

Although The Briar King will suffer the inevitable comparison with George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, it should be said that Keyes's work is no mere rip-off. This is excellent world building, applied with a dark, powerful touch that should convince Martin fans to become Keyes fans, too. --Jeremy Pugh
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Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy) by Robin Hobb -
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Books of Wonder) by Jules Verne -

Hold on tight as Captain Nemo takes you on a perilous journey deep beneath the ocean waves, into the incredible underwater world where lives the crew of the mighty submarine the Nautilus. When Nemo captures Professor Arronax; his servant, Conseil; and the harpoonist Ned Land, the prisoners join Nemo's breathtaking journey through the ocean's depths in search of long-lost revenge.

In twelve dazzling full-color plates and dozens of two-color illustrations, two-time Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillion capture the beauty, grandeur, and suspense of this timeless tale. From the exploration of the lost city of Atlantis to the battle with a giant octopus to the mad genius of the organ-playing Captain Nemo, their art brings the classic words of Jules Verne to vivid life.

More than one hundred years after its first publication, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remains one of the most memorable adventure stories ever told. Now, with this beautifully illustrated and unabridged gift edition, a new generation can discover the excitement and imaginative power of Jules Verne's epic tale.


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Manifold: Time by Stephen Baxter - The year is 2010. More than a century of ecological damage, industrial and technological expansion, and unchecked population growth has left the Earth on the brink of devastation. As the world's governments turn inward, one man dares to envision a bolder, brighter future. That man, Reid Malenfant, has a very different solution to the problems plaguing the planet: the exploration and colonization of space. Now Malenfant gambles the very existence of time on a single desperate throw of the dice. Battling national sabotage and international outcry, as apocalyptic riots sweep the globe, he builds a spacecraft and launches it into deep space. The odds are a trillion to one against him. Or are they?Leave it to the consistently clever Stephen Baxter to pull the old bait and switch. A story that begins as a hoary asteroid-mining tale, set in 2010 against the by-now familiar spiel of fulfilling humanity's pan-galactic Manifest Destiny, instead takes a bold, delightful ascent into a trajectory far more ambitious. To ensure its survival, humankind need not merely master the galaxy but also the flow of time itself.

Manifold: Time's would-be asteroid-miner-in-chief is bootstrap space entrepreneur Reid Malenfant, a media-savvy firebrand who's showed those crotchety NASA folks what's what with his ready-to-fly Big Dumb Booster, piloted by a genetically enhanced super-squid. But Malenfant's near-term plans to exploit the asteroids get diverted when he crosses paths with creepy mathematician and eschatologist Cornelius Taine. Applying Bayes's theorem and a series of other statistical do-si-dos, Taine convinces Malenfant that an inescapable extinction event--the "Carter catastrophe"--is nigh, and that even working to colonize the galaxy might not be enough to save humanity. The answer: build a Feynman "radio" to listen to the future and, by detecting coded quantum waves traveling back through time, divine the fate of human "downstreamers" and find the key to their survival. Space flight, time travel, and even squid negotiations ensue, while Earth is gripped in Last Days madness.

Once again, the award-spangled Baxter gives us sci-fi at its beard-stroking best, with an imaginative, audacious plot line that's firmly grounded in good science, reminiscent of Baxter's own excellent Vacuum Diagrams. --Paul Hughes
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Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold! (The Magic Kingdom of Landover) by Terry Brooks - After Ben Holiday purchased Landover, he discovered the magic kingdom had some problems. The Barons refused to recognize a king and the peasants were without hope. To make matters worse, Ben learned that he had to duel to the death with the Iron Mask, the terrible lord of the demons--a duel which no human could hope to win....

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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman -

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.

He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.

But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family. . . .

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, the graveyard book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

In The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman has created a charming allegory of childhood. Although the book opens with a scary scene--a family is stabbed to death by "a man named Jack” --the story quickly moves into more child-friendly storytelling. The sole survivor of the attack--an 18-month-old baby--escapes his crib and his house, and toddles to a nearby graveyard. Quickly recognizing that the baby is orphaned, the graveyard's ghostly residents adopt him, name him Nobody ("Bod"), and allow him to live in their tomb. Taking inspiration from Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Gaiman describes how the toddler navigates among the headstones, asking a lot of questions and picking up the tricks of the living and the dead. In serial-like episodes, the story follows Bod's progress as he grows from baby to teen, learning life’s lessons amid a cadre of the long-dead, ghouls, witches, intermittent human interlopers. A pallid, nocturnal guardian named Silas ensures that Bod receives food, books, and anything else he might need from the human world. Whenever the boy strays from his usual play among the headstones, he finds new dangers, learns his limitations and strengths, and acquires the skills he needs to survive within the confines of the graveyard and in wider world beyond. (ages 10 and up) -–Heidi Broadhead
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Elric: The Stealer of Souls (Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melniboné, Vol. 1) by Michael Moorcock - “The stories here are the raw heart of Michael Moorcock. They are the spells that first drew me and all the numerous admirers of his work with whom I am acquainted into Moorcock’s luminous and captivating web.”
–from the Foreword by Alan Moore, creator of V for Vendetta

When Michael Moorcock began chronicling the adventures of the albino sorcerer Elric, last king of decadent Melniboné, and his sentient vampiric sword, Stormbringer, he set out to create a new kind of fantasy adventure, one that broke with tradition and reflected a more up-to-date sophistication of theme and style. The result was a bold and unique hero–weak in body, subtle in mind, dependent on drugs for the vitality to sustain himself–with great crimes behind him and a greater destiny ahead: a rock-and-roll antihero who would channel all the violent excesses of the sixties into one enduring archetype.

Now, with a major film in development, here is the first volume of a dazzling collection of stories containing the seminal appearances of Elric and lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist John Picacio–plus essays, letters, maps, and other material. Adventures include “The Dreaming City,” “While the Gods Laugh,” “Kings in Darkness,” “Dead God’s Homecoming,” “Black Sword’s Brothers,” and “Sad Giant’s Shield.”

An indispensable addition to any fantasy collection, Elric: The Stealer of Souls is an unmatched introduction to a brilliant writer and his most famous–or infamous–creation.

“The most significant UK author of sword and sorcery, a form he has both borrowed from and transformed.”
–The Encyclopedia of Fantasy
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1984: 60th-Anniversary Edition (Plume) by George Orwell - Satire on the possible horrors of a totalitarian regime in England in 1984.
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One Second After by William R. Forstchen -
New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real...a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages...A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP).  A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies.
 
Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future...and our end.

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Red Mars (Mars Trilogy) by Kim Stanley Robinson - In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars.

For eons, sandstorms have swept the barren desolate landscape of the red planet. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. Now, in the year 2026, a group of one hundred colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.

John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers and opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic "alchemists, " Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life...and death.

The colonists place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the planets surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels, kilometers in depth, will be drilled into the Martian mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves, and friendships will form and fall to pieces--for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope and ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in human evolution and creating a world in its entirety. Red Mars shows us a future, with both glory and tarnish, that awes with complexity and inspires with vision.Red Mars opens with a tragic murder, an event that becomes the focal point for the surviving characters and the turning point in a long intrigue that pits idealistic Mars colonists against a desperately overpopulated Earth, radical political groups of all stripes against each other, and the interests of transnational corporations against the dreams of the pioneers.

This is a vast book: a chronicle of the exploration of Mars with some of the most engaging, vivid, and human characters in recent science fiction. Robinson fantasizes brilliantly about the science of terraforming a hostile world, analyzes the socio-economic forces that propel and attempt to control real interplanetary colonization, and imagines the diverse reactions that humanity would have to the dead, red planet.

Red Mars is so magnificent a story, you will want to move on to Blue Mars and Green Mars. But this first, most beautiful book is definitely the best of the three. Readers new to Robinson may want to follow up with some other books that take place in the colonized solar system of the future: either his earlier (less polished but more carefree) The Memory of Whiteness and Icehenge, or 1998's Antarctica. --L. Blunt Jackson
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Fantasy

Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - This extraordinary, magical novel is the story of Clare and Henry who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. His disappearances are spontaneous and his experiences are alternately harrowing and amusing. The Time Traveler's Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare's passionate love for each other with grace and humour. Their struggle to lead normal lives in the face of a force they can neither prevent nor control is intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.
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Eclipse -
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New Moon by Stephenie Meyer -
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Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) by Stephenie Meyer - When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life--first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse--seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever?

The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.Great love stories thrive on sacrifice. Throughout The Twilight Saga (Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse), Stephenie Meyer has emulated great love stories--Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights--with the fated, yet perpetually doomed love of Bella (the human girl) and Edward (the vampire who feeds on animals instead of humans). In Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final installment in the series, Bella’s story plays out in some unexpected ways. The ongoing conflicts that made this series so compelling--a human girl in love with a vampire, a werewolf in love with a human girl, the generations-long feud between werewolves and vampires--resolve pretty quickly, apparently so that Meyer could focus on Bella’s latest opportunity for self-sacrifice: giving her life for someone she loves even more than Edward. How close she comes to actually making that sacrifice is questionable, which is a big shift from the earlier books. Even though you knew Bella would make it through somehow, the threats to her life, and to her relationship with Edward, had previously always felt real. It’s as if Meyer was afraid of hurting her characters too much, which is unfortunate, because the pain Bella suffered at losing Edward in New Moon, and the pain Jacob suffered at losing Bella again and again, are the fire and the heart that drive the whole series. Diehard fans will stick with Bella, Edward, and Jacob for as many twists and turns as possible, but after most of the characters get what they want with little sacrifice, some readers may have a harder time caring what happens next. (Ages 12 and up) --Heidi Broadhead
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Darkfever (Fae) by Karen Marie Moning - MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman.

Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death - a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone - Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed - a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae…

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane - an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women - closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book - because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands…

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The Brass Bed by Jennifer Stevenson - “Funny, frisky, and far out! Jennifer Stevenson’s writing is naughty and irresistible.”
–Julie Kistler, author of Scandal

THE CURSE: Satisfy one hundred women or be trapped in a brass bed forever
Lord Randall was a lousy lover in 1811, so his magician-mistress turned him into a sex demon. Lucky for him, his bed fell into Clay’s hands.

THE CON: Sex therapy for women on an antique brass “treatment bed”
Clay has the perfect scam going, until that pesky, foxy fraud investigator Jewel comes sniffing around. Lucky for him, she has a soft spot for hunky con men.

THE CHOICE: Sex demon or sex fraudster?
Jewel is Randy’s hundredth woman. Now he says he’s her personal sex slave, and her case against the con artist is dissolving in a hail of hormones. Lucky for her, she’s a tough cop with a lusty libido.
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A Study Guide to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Elizabeth Bennet's romance with Mr. Darcy comes to life in Austen's charming comedy of manners, in an audio package containing a helpful guide for students. Narrated by Sheila Allen, Roger Rees, and Francia DiMase.In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet -- a country squire of no great means and his scatterbrained wife -- must marry off their five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are the headstrong second daughter Elizabeth and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy, two lovers in whom pride and prejudice must be overcome before love can bring the novel to its magnificent conclusion.
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Twilight (The Twilight Saga) by Stephenie Meyer - The #1 New York Times bestseller is available for the first time in a mass market paperback edition, featuring a striking movie tie-in cover.


Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.The book that started the phenomenon is now available in a deluxe collector's edition! Featuring a ribbon bookmark, cloth cover, ragged edges, new chapter opener designs, and a beautiful protective slipcase, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.
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The Briar King (The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1) by Greg Keyes - Two thousand years ago, the Born Queen defeated the Skasloi lords, freeing humans from the bitter yoke of slavery. But now monstrous creatures roam the land—and destinies become inextricably entangled in a drama of power and seduction. The king’s woodsman, a rebellious girl, a young priest, a roguish adventurer, and a young man made suddenly into a knight—all face malevolent forces that shake the foundations of the kingdom, even as the Briar King, legendary harbinger of death, awakens from his slumber. At the heart of this many-layered tale is Anne Dare, youngest daughter of the royal family . . . upon whom the fate of her world may depend.The Briar King, Greg Keyes's latest elegant entry into the world of high fantasy, lays the groundwork for what promises to be a mesmerizing four-book series--the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone. Keyes spins his tale in a meticulously crafted fantasy realm on the brink of apocalyptic change. The Briar King, a legend cobbled from children's stories and rural folklore, is waking from his slumber to an unknown but cataclysmic end. Dark agents are afoot in the land, stirring war and edging an ancient prophecy closer to fulfillment. In destiny's path are a king's woodsman, his headstrong lover, a bookworm priest, a cocksure swordsman, and the embattled (from within and without) kingdom of Crotheny. Keyes masterfully intertwines far-off courtly intrigue with the personal quest of the woodsman and his brave companions who seek to unravel the secret of the Briar King before all is lost.

Although The Briar King will suffer the inevitable comparison with George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, it should be said that Keyes's work is no mere rip-off. This is excellent world building, applied with a dark, powerful touch that should convince Martin fans to become Keyes fans, too. --Jeremy Pugh
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Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris - Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is no typical Southern belle. She can read minds. And she’s got a thing for vampires. Which, in a town like Bon Temps, Louisiana, means she’ll have to watch her back—and neck…

Includes:

Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse


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More Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (Deluxe Edition) by Neil Gaiman - Gotham City is plagued with crime and corruption in places high and low, but one man has taken a stand against evil of all forms: the dark avenger known as Batman. But now the Dark Knight is dead; apparently fallen at the hands of dying god Darkseid. "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader" is a captivating and mysterious tale, the likes of which Batman and friends have never experienced before. Delving into the realms of life, death and the afterlife, no stone is left unturned in this exploration of every facet and era of Bruce Wayne's life. Neil Gaiman, the multiple award-winning author of "Sandman" and "Coraline", is joined by legendary artist Andy Kubert ("Batman and Son") for the ultimate Batman story!Book Description

Best-selling author Neil Gaiman (The Sandman) joins a murderer's row of talented artists in lending his unique touch to the Batman mythos for this Deluxe Edition hardcover! Spotlighting the story "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" from Batman #685 and Detective Comics #852, Gaiman joins artist Andy Kubert and inker Scott Williams for a story that shines a new light on the Batman mythos. Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? also collects Gaiman stories from Secret Origins #36, Secret Origins Special #1, and Batman Black And White #2. This collection is not to be missed!

A Look Inside Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?
(Click on Images to Enlarge)


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Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 7) by Laurell K. Hamilton - In Laurell K. Hamilton's New York Times bestselling novels, it's often hard to tell the good from the evil. Just ask Anita Blake. She seems to be developing a soft spot in her heart for vampires-one in particular. So, when an arsonist's fires begin licking at St. Louis's undead, it's up to Anita to save the very monsters she's sworn to destroy.Burnt Offerings is the seventh in Laurell K. Hamilton's genre-straddling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. Anita carries a gun and an attitude: "Questions are great, but only if you know the answers. If you ask questions and the answers surprise you, you look silly. Hard to be threatening when you look ill-informed."

As Burnt Offerings unfolds, Anita agrees to help track down a possible psychic firestarter. She's also policing the local werewolf pack, though she's split up with their alpha, Richard. Then Jean-Claude, the vampire Master of the City and her lover, needs her help to confront a visiting delegation of the vampires' ruling council. They wonder how he got the power to destroy a council member and believe him dangerous to the hierarchy.

This fast-paced, urban fantasy includes gore, hardboiled mystery and a romantic triangle. The vampires and werewolves are as three-dimensional as the human characters, allowing us to join Anita in wondering who the real monsters are and to understand how her increased personal involvement with them is alienating her from her human colleagues. --Nona Vero
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Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Collection (Every Sherlock Holmes story written by Doyle!) by Arthur Conan Doyle - NOTE: This edition has a linked "Table of Contents" and has been beautifully formatted (searchable and interlinked) to work on your Amazon e-book reader and your iPod e-book reader.

This edition contains all of the "Sherlock Holmes" stories (4 novels and 56 short stories) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The contents are:

Including the novels:
A Study In Scarlet
The Sign of the Four
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Valley of Fear

Short story collections:
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
His Last Bow
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller - If any comic has a claim to have truly reinvigorated the genre, then The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller--known also for his excellent Sin City series and his superb rendering of the blind superhero Daredevil--is probably the top contender. Batman represented all that was wrong in comics and Miller set himself a tough task taking on the camp crusader and turning this laughable, innocuous children's cartoon character into a hero for our times. The great Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, the arguably peerless Watchmen) argued that only someone of Miller's stature could have done this. Batman is a character known well beyond the confines of the comic world (as are his retinue) and so reinventing him, while keeping his limiting core essentials intact, was a huge task.Miller went far beyond the call of duty. The Dark Knight is a success on every level. Firstly it does keep the core elements of the Batman myth intact, with Robin, Alfred the butler, Commissioner Gordon, and the old roster of villains, present yet brilliantly subverted. Secondly the artwork is fantastic--detailed, sometimes claustrophobic, psychotic. Lastly it's a great story: Gotham City is a hell on earth, street gangs roam but there are no heroes. Decay is ubiquitous. Where is a hero to save Gotham? It is 10 years since the last recorded sighting of the Batman. And things have got worse than ever. Bruce Wayne is close to being a broken man but something is keeping him sane: the need to see change and the belief that he can orchestrate some of that change. Batman is back. The Dark Knight has returned. Awesome. --Mark ThwaiteIf any comic has a claim to have truly reinvigorated the genre, then The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller--known also for his excellent Sin City series and his superb rendering of the blind superhero Daredevil--is probably the top contender. Batman represented all that was wrong in comics and Miller set himself a tough task taking on the camp crusader and turning this laughable, innocuous children's cartoon character into a hero for our times. The great Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, the arguably peerless Watchmen) argued that only someone of Miller's stature could have done this. Batman is a character known well beyond the confines of the comic world (as are his retinue) and so reinventing him, while keeping his limiting core essentials intact, was a huge task.

Miller went far beyond the call of duty. The Dark Knight is a success on every level. Firstly it does keep the core elements of the Batman myth intact, with Robin, Alfred the butler, Commissioner Gordon, and the old roster of villains, present yet brilliantly subverted. Secondly the artwork is fantastic--detailed, sometimes claustrophobic, psychotic. Lastly it's a great story: Gotham City is a hell on earth, street gangs roam but there are no heroes. Decay is ubiquitous. Where is a hero to save Gotham? It is 10 years since the last recorded sighting of the Batman. And things have got worse than ever. Bruce Wayne is close to being a broken man but something is keeping him sane: the need to see change and the belief that he can orchestrate some of that change. Batman is back. The Dark Knight has returned. Awesome. --Mark Thwaite
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The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle - You who so plod amid serious things that you feel it shame to give yourself up even for a few short moments to mirth and joyousness in the land of Fancy; you who think that life hath nought to do with innocent laughter that can harm no one; these pages are not for you. Clap to the leaves and go no farther than this, for I tell you plainly that if you go farther you will be scandalized by seeing good, sober folks of real history so frisk and caper in gay colors and motley that you would not know them but for the names tagged to them. Here is a stout, lusty fellow with a quick temper, yet none so ill for all that, who goes by the name of Henry II. Here is a fair, gentle lady before whom all the others bow and call her Queen Eleanor. Here is a fat rogue of a fellow, dressed up in rich robes of a clerical kind, that all the good folk call my Lord Bishop of Hereford. Here is a certain fellow with a sour temper and a grim look--the worshipful, the Sheriff of Nottingham. And here, above all, is a great, tall, merry fellow that roams the greenwood and joins in homely sports, and sits beside the Sheriff at merry feast, which same beareth the name of the proudest of the Plantagenets--Richard of the Lion's Heart. Beside these are a whole host of knights, priests, nobles, burghers, yeomen, pages, ladies, lasses, landlords, beggars, peddlers, and what not, all living the merriest of merry lives, and all bound by nothing but a few odd strands of certain old ballads (snipped and clipped and tied together again in a score of knots) which draw these jocund fellows here and there, singing as they go.
Here you will find a hundred dull, sober, jogging places, all tricked out with flowers and what not, till no one would know them in their fanciful dress. And here is a country bearing a well-known name, wherein no chill mists press upon our spirits, and no rain falls but what rolls off our backs like April showers off the backs of sleek drakes; where flowers bloom forever and birds are always singing; where every fellow hath a merry catch as he travels the roads, and ale and beer and wine (such as muddle no wits) flow like water in a brook.
This country is not Fairyland. What is it? 'Tis the land of Fancy, and is of that pleasant kind that, when you tire of it--whisk!--you clap the leaves of this book together and 'tis gone, and you are ready for everyday life, with no harm done.
And now I lift the curtain that hangs between here and No-man's-land. Will you come with me, sweet Reader? I thank you. Give me your hand.

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Star Trek: TNG: Losing the Peace (Star Trek, the Next Generation) by William Leisner - With the displacement and devastation wrought by the Borg, Captain Picard begins to wonder can the Federation survive?
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Soul Key by Olivia Woods - There is a void in the alternate universe that demands to be filled. Iliana Ghemor, the Cardassian operative who years ago was altered in both body and mind to replace Kira Nerys, dreams of fulfilling a prophecy that will mark her as the one true Emissary of that other reality -- a messianic figure who could lead her followers into an era of renewed hope...or an age of deepening darkness.

Ghemor's claim to the mantle of the Emissary is by no means certain, however, as the inexorable pull of providence tugs also at other souls who are swept into the vortex of the Prophets, the remote and timeless beings who have set these strange events in motion.

But the stakes are higher than anyone imagines: for the outcome of this struggle for the fate of one universe will ripple across many others, and become the key to unlocking a future that will prove to be the greatest trial yet for the heroes of station Deep Space 9.
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Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, Brian Bolland - One of the most famous Batman stories of all time is offered for the first time in hardcover in this special twentieth-anniversary edition.

This is the unforgettable that forever changed Batman's world, adding a new element of darkness with its unflinching portrayal of The Joker's twisted psyche.

Writer Alan Moore, acclaimed author of WATCHMEN and V FOR VENDETTA, offers his take on the disturbing relationship between The Dark Knight and his greatest foe. The Clown Prince of Crime has never been more ruthless than in this brutal tale.

This special new edition also includes a story written and exquisitely illustrated by Brian Bolland.The Killing Joke, one of my favorite Batman stories ever, stirred a bit of controversy because the story involves the Joker brutally, pointlessly shooting Commissioner Gordon's daughter in the spine. This is a no-holds-barred take on a truly insane criminal mind, masterfully written by British comics writer Alan Moore. The art by Brian Bolland is so appealing that his depiction of the Joker became a standard and was imitated by many artists to follow.
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Batman: Year One by Frank Miller - A new deluxe trade paperback edition of one of the most important and critically acclaimed Batman adventures ever, written by Frank Miller, author of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS!

In addition to telling the entire dramatic story of Batman's first year fighting crime, this collection includes reproductions of original pencils, promotional art, script pages, unseen David Mazzucchelli Batman art and more.Whether you grew up reading Batman comics, watched the campy television show, or eagerly await each new movie, this is the book for you. A retelling of the events that led to Bruce Wayne's becoming Batman, this book combines Frank Miller's tight film-noir writing with David Mazucchelli's solid artwork.
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Star Trek Movie Tie-In by Alan Dean Foster - The origins of James Kirk, Spock and the crew of the USS Enterprise from the original Star Trek series and how these iconic characters came together.Book Description

"Are you willing to settle for an ordinary life? Or do you think you were meant for something better? Something special?"

One grew up in the cornfields of Iowa, fighting for his independence, for a way out of a life that promised only indifference, aimlessness and obscurity.

"You will forever be a child of two worlds, capable of choosing your own destiny. The only question you face is, which path will you chose?"

The other grew up on the jagged cliffs of the harsh Vulcan desert, fighting for acceptance, for a way to reconcile the logic he was taught with the emotions he felt.

In the far reaches of the galaxy, a machine of war bursts into existence in a place and time it was never meant to be. On a mission of retribution for the destruction of his planet, its half-mad captain seeks the death of every intelligent being, and the annihilation of every civilized world.

Kirk and Spock, two completely different and unyielding personalities must find a way to lead the only crew, aboard the only ship, that can stop him.

"The wait is over."


Look Inside the Motion Picture Star Trek (Paramount Pictures, 2009)
Click on each image below to see a larger view



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