The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
Three years ago the Rapture happened and 2% of the Earth’s population vanished. Those left behind are still struggling to understand and are racked with grief, despair and futile anger. Kevin’s wife left him and joined an authoritative cult of delusional psychotics where she exists in a vacant chill. His daughter has gone introspective via drugs and sex and his son’s situation is deteriorating. Others in the community struggle intricately in their own way to deal with the anomaly their lives have become. But even as things threaten to get a lot worse and weirder, hope emerges. This was very good and inspired a TV show.
“He cultivated a European distain for exercise.”
“He found it shrill and peculiar.”
“Nothing to keep her company but the frightened voice in her own head.”
“Eight Inches! I Measured It! I Even Posted Pictures On Craigslist!”
“What the experts liked to call “unfortunate outcomes”.”
The Shadow Of The Lion by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer
The 1st in the ‘Heirs of Alexandria’ series depicts an alternate 16th century Europe full of intrigue, magic and demons. The break point between this universe and ours is that the great library of Alexandria was saved by Saint Hypatia and as result Christianity and magic co-exist.
Venice 1537 - the city is threatened by the demon Chernobog, political ambition, tensions between Pauline and Petrine branches of the church (there was no Reformation in this world), a persecution of pagans and the ancient spirit protector of Venice is awakening from its slumber. This is a doorstopper of an epic with complex intrigue and vivid characterization. This is a fantastic novel with very different ethics, cultures and world map.
This Rough Magic by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer
The 2nd in the ‘Heirs of Alexandria’ series. In Corfu from 1538 to 1540, King Emeric of Hungary lays siege to the island. Grand Duke Jagiellon sits on the sidelines and a greater enemy than Chernobog exists and a skirmish plays out. This is another doorstopper as Corfu is defended and the primordial magic of Corfu is harnessed. This is an excellent tale of machinations and magic.
“Chernobog is ancient, even if the shell he inhabits - that thing that used to be the Prince Jagiellon - is still a relatively young man.”