Europe in Autumn, by Dave Hutchinson

A spy thriller, a near-future science fiction adventure … a prophetic look at what follows the disintegration of the European Union under a rising tide of extreme nationalism and xenophobia …

Europe in Autumn is the first in a series about a fractured Europe in a world very like our own – a world after the devastation of a pandemic flu had led to a paranoid nationalism, with nations dividing and subdividing so rapidly that even citizens of a country can find it hard to keep track of just where they’re living. Recruited to a new career as spy and people-smuggler with a mysterious organization calling itself Les Coureurs des Bois, the protagonist, Rudi, a cook in eastern Europe when we first meet him, is drawn deeper and deeper into the mysteries underlying his world. Conspiracies within conspiracies, treachery, organized crime, a railway line that’s an independent state and a political power in Europe, the quest for a document that might reveal long-hidden secrets about the nature of the world, and Rudi’s increasingly desperate struggle to survive as he learns more than he should and employers and allies turn into enemies, make this a thriller hard to put down. If you enjoy Len Deighton and Alan Furst and other thrillers that combine action and suspense with intelligent stories and characters, as well as thoughtful science fiction, you should definitely pick up Europe in Autumn. We hope to have book two, Europe at Midnight, in the library soon.

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Outcasts of River Falls, by Jacqueline Guest

Guest Review by Hannah Grant

Sequel to Belle of Batoche, this novel follows the adventures of Kathryn Tourond through the death of her parents and the changes in her lifestyle that result from it. Kathryn was raised as an upperclass white girl, uninformed of her father’s Métis roots. Now an orphan, she is sent to live with her Aunt Belle, a dark-skinned Métis woman. Kathryn is disdained to find out that her aunt owns a small run-down home on the outskirts of the white territory, has to work hard for everything she has, and is treated differently from the white people. She is even more disgruntled when she realizes she must help with the household chores.

As time passes, Kathryn sees the struggles of the Métis and how unfair it is that they are treated as trash, but for a long time she doesn’t think of herself as one of them. She thinks of her time in River Falls as temporary and hopes to return to her school in Toronto and go on to become a lawyer.

One aspect of River Falls, however, Kathryn finds intriguing: the story of the mysterious Highwayman who brings justice and fairness to the Métis. She hopes to solve the mystery of the Highwayman, but soon finds out that her aunt is involved. When the Highwayman is framed for a murder, he and Belle could be in danger, and it is up to Kathryn to help them.

This story details the hardships faced by the Métis in the early 1900s and the changes in Kathryn’s perspective towards her people. A good read for both children and adults, this book is the tale of a girl coming to love her family for who they are and cherish a simple country life in River Falls.

Horse Power, by Ann Walsh

Guest review by Hannah Grant

Callie, a young city girl, has just arrived home from visiting her father when her mother whisks her away to protest the closing of her cousin’s school.

Callie is a bit annoyed with the protest at first. She is not fond of camping out in the school parking lot or of her cousin’s horse, Radish, but she understands the importance of the rural school and wants to help save it. When Callie’s cousin dares her to ride Radish, an unlikely turn of events and an unlikely friendship provide a solution to the problem.

This book is a great read for young adults and people who love horses. Callie’s humorous perspective makes it difficult to put this book down. She actually had me laughing out loud!

Let’s do Nothing, by Tony Fucile

Summer – a time for doing nothing. Friends Frankie and Sal have done everything they can think of to do: sports, drawing, baking, board games, comic books. Sal decides they should try doing nothing, sitting like statues in the park. Frankie’s imagination gets away from him, though, and he ends up frantically shooing pigeons. Sal says they should be giant redwood trees. Frankie imagines Sal’s dog … well, you can guess. The pictures tell much of the story in this fun new picture book, a great choice for reading aloud.

Photo of Ook the library gorilla reading Let's Do Nothing
Let’s Do Nothing, by Tony Fucile

The Beat Goes On, by Ian Rankin

Recently we’ve got a number of new books in the library and more are on their way. One of our new items is a collection of the complete Inspector Rebus short stories by Ian Rankin. The Beat Goes On contains stories following Rebus’s career in the dark and dangerous corners of modern Edinburgh from his time as a young constable to his retirement; some of the stories have appeared before while others were written specifically for this collection. If you know Rebus only through the novels, this will be a welcome return to his world. If you’ve never read Ian Rankin before, this could be a good introduction to his best-loved protagonist. Come in and see what else is on our new book display!