Each week as part of SunLit — The Sun’s literature section — we feature staff recommendations from book stores across Colorado. This week, staff from Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins recommend “Ordinary Monsters,” “The Dead Romantics” and “Leech.”
By J.M. Miro
From the publisher: Charlie Ovid, despite surviving a brutal childhood in Mississippi, doesn’t have a scar on him. His body heals itself, whether he wants it to or not. Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight car, shines with a strange bluish light. He can melt or mend flesh. When Alice Quicke, a jaded detective with her own troubled past, is recruited to escort them to safety, all three begin a journey into the nature of difference and belonging, and the shadowy edges of the monstrous.
From Andrea, marketing and events: A spooky season suggestion! “Ordinary Monsters” is a beautiful and dark fantasy novel following Marlowe and Charlie, two children with fantastical powers. Stalked, killed (multiple times and it still won’t stick), and left wondering how they will go on, they are taken to an institute where other fantastical children reside. I can’t believe how luscious the world is. I can feel the heaviness in the air and each setting folds out in front of me like a stage set. The characters are each so vibrant in their beliefs and thoughts and horrors. It’s such an interesting novel with unique characters and stakes. Highly recommend.
The Dead Romantics
By Ashley Poston
From the publisher: Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem — after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead. When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.
Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it. Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is. Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.
From Nicole, marketing and events: Every Ashley Poston book I read becomes my favorite Ashley Poston book. This one is no different — sweet and soft and perfect for a rainy October evening when you want to curl up with tea and warm fuzzies. I didn’t know I needed this book until I was several chapters in and Ashley was once again very gently tearing my heart open, stuffing it with love, and putting it back together. This book is absolutely lovely, a teensy bit spooky, and all-over romantic. I love it.
By Hiron Ennes
From the publisher: In an isolated chateau, as far north as north goes, the baron’s doctor has died. The doctor’s replacement has a mystery to solve: discovering how the Institute lost track of one of its many bodies. For hundreds of years the Interprovincial Medical Institute has grown by taking root in young minds and shaping them into doctors, replacing every human practitioner of medicine. The Institute is here to help humanity, to protect the species from the apocalyptic horrors their ancestors unleashed. In the frozen north, the Institute’s body will discover a competitor for its rung at the top of the evolutionary ladder. A parasite is spreading through the baron’s castle, already a dark pit of secrets, lies, violence, and fear. The two will make war on the battlefield of the body. Whichever wins, humanity will lose again.
From Allison, book buyer: The Thing meets Transcendence. Essentially what if an AI hivemind (our narrator!) battled a shape-shifting virus at the brutally cold ass-end of a far-future Earth. Gothic, dizzying, queer, and claustrophobic in the best ways.