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fantasy

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

A man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He wanders into the farmstead of a friend from his youth, follows a path to a duck pond--which may be the ocean--and, begins to remember “everything.”  His friend’s grandmother may be as old as the world. His nanny may be a monster. The pennies in his piggy bank may be gold.

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan

Duncan’s new novel picks up on the threads of the romantic entanglements of now deceased werewolf Jake Marlowe. His love, Talulla Demetriou, has survived the hunt described at the end of ‘The Last Werewolf’. Talulla is now coming to terms with being a werewolf, possibly the only one left. As she struggles with her new identity, the same forces that were after Jake now are coming after her.

Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon by Mark Hodder

In the dizzying third (and probably not the last) installment of a steampunk/alternative-universe/time-travel saga, polymath explorer extraordinaire Sir Richard Burton returns with his trusty sidekick poet Algernon Swinburne to pre-empt a royal assassination, prevent world war, recover a set of psychoactive diamonds deposited by a now-extinct non-human race of super beings, and defeat the powers of evil. Burton hops between alternative realities in an enthralling tale replete with an encyclopedic grasp of period detail. Thoroughly engrossing.

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Mark Hodder.

Continuing and expanding on the adventure, steampunkery and general Victorian madness of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack Hodder’s protagonists Sir Francis Burton and his assistant poet Algernon Swinburne deal with catastrophic threats to "life as we know it". A seemingly routine robbery leads to a dubious claim on an aristocrat’s estate and quickly morphs into wraith-induced rioting in the streets of London.

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." From "The Unexpected Party" in the Shire to "The Last Stage" home again we journey with the far-wandering Mr. Bilbo Baggins across Middle Earth as he is reluctantly caught up in the quest for unimaginable treasure. With thirteen dwarves the hobbit faces bickering trolls, evil orcs, terrifying Wargs, hideous spiders, deception and, finally, the dragon Smaug. Bilbo is chosen by the wizard Gandalf as the burglar necessary to complete the expedition to the Lonely Mountain.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Chester's Mill, Maine finds itself suddenly and inexplicably cut off from the outside world when a 20,000 foot high transparent dome descends from out of nowhere. Who created this situation and why are only two of the questions the increasingly desperate denizens of this beleaguered town have to address as King spins a yarn full of unlikely heroes, monstrous pretenders to power and nefarious doings beyond the known universe. Mayhem rules. But so does redemption. A fast paced tale populated with a great cast of characters both good and evil.

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

Meet Jake Marlowe.  Jake is a werewolf.  He is the last known werewolf on earth, and he is being hunted.  When we meet Marlowe, he is almost 200 years old and is growing tired of the constant loneliness and the constant struggle to stay under the radar of his pursuers.  Just when the end is near and Jake is ready to give up, everything changes…  This is an excellent story, and a breath of fresh air from all of the recent vampire books. 

Pym by Mat Johnson

This tale has it all. Colonies of giant albino humaniods living below the Antarctic ice. A bitter, tenure-denied academic who discovers the manuscript of Edgar Allen Poe's only novel and decides there's enough evidence to prove it's not a work of fiction. A life-threatening, seafaring voyage of an all-black crew to find a black-inhabited island at the bottom of the world. Evil, conniving lawyers. Cold-hearted ex-girfriends. Acidly humorous, Johnson creates an uproarious satire of racial pathology. And does so with a cast of memorable miscreants and a blistering plot.

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© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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