Helena Davies just wants a job that will get her out of her parents’ basement. Abernathy’s Bookstore is disorganized, out of the way, and smells funny, but it pays well and promises to at least be interesting. She has no idea how interesting her life will become. By the end of the first day, Helena has a dead boss in the basement, an unexpected promotion, and the news that she is now a part of an endless war against creatures from another reality.
As Abernathy’s newest custodian, Helena is responsible for its secrets, including the most important one: Abernathy’s isn’t just a bookstore. It’s the world’s only living oracle, producing prophecies to help fight the war against alien invaders bent on draining this world of its magic. Helena’s job is to find books to answer questions put to the oracle by the Wardens, fighters in the Long War. It seems simple enough, but Helena’s new job is anything but.
She has allies: her best friend Viv, from whom she has no secrets; Harry and Harriet Keller, elderly magi skilled at uncovering secrets; and the enigmatic Malcolm Campbell, warrior magus and one of the few who have faith in Helena’s abilities. But not everyone is thrilled that an outsider now has charge of one of the world’s most powerful magical entities. Helena must defend herself against the antagonism of Judy Rasmussen, who’d expected to be the next custodian of Abernathy’s, and her father William, powerful leader of the Wardens and someone with an agenda of his own.
Without training, without any knowledge of the magical world, and facing the hostility of those who’d wanted someone else to be Abernathy’s custodian, Helena must navigate the treacherous waters of her new world and find a place for herself within it. But there’s still a murderer on the loose, someone who intended to control Abernathy’s by killing its custodian—and Helena might be next on his list.
|Publisher:||Curiosity Quills Press|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Melissa grew up a nomad, finally settling in Utah, though her heart belongs to the Oregon coast. Her love of reading fantasy stories has been a constant in her life and she still remembers the places she lived by the books she was reading there: the Riddle-Master trilogy in New York, the Foundation series in Colorado, Howl’s Moving Castle in Texas, Crown Duel in Utah. That love of reading grew into a love of writing, first critical essays and reviews, then fiction. She also loves roleplaying games, in which she usually plays the rogue. This probably says something about her personality better left unexplored. Her family includes her husband (a long-suffering man willing to let ideas bounce off him at speed), four children (also long-suffering and happy to live off macaroni and cheese while Mom writes) and three very needy cats, one of whom is so dumb he frequently runs into walls.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
E-book/ARC/Fantasy: This book just came out, so no spoilers here. I'd like to thank NetGalley for an advanced copy in lieu of an honest review. If you want a summary of the book, read it on the back of the book or any book site. I will only give you my thoughts on plot and character. Here we go: At first glance of the description, I had a good feeling about the book even though it was "book 1" and I don't need to start another series. This is a "new" adult, not teen, who finds her way into a job at a bookstore. Then came the cliché characters: Grumpy boss Good looking, but mysterious rich customer Snarky BFF who can barely take of herself, but has expensive clothes Female antagonist with no self-awareness, who wants life handed to her Police who are easily fooled by magic Parents who are clueless I could go on, but you get it. And then something amazing happened. I cared. I cared what happened to the heroine and the people around her. I cared about the shop. I wanted to have that job and live over the bookstore. And damn it, I wanted to know who the murderer was and why. Yes, somethings were rolled up too well in the end, but it only took me two days to read this over a weekend. I really liked the plot and if I see book 2, I'll probably read it too.
Twenty-one-year-old Helena needs a job. She needs to get out of her parental home for several hours each day, but has no idea what kind of direction she wants her life to take. After reading an ad in the paper she ends up in Abernathy's Bookstore accepting a job that pays well enough. Helena loves books, so she'll be working at a place that interests her. However, Helena has no idea Abernathy's isn't a regular bookshop. When the owner unexpectedly dies on her first day Helena discovers she's bound by the fine print of the contract she's just signed, she's now Abernathy's new custodian. Abernathy's is much more than a store with books, it's an oracle where those who practice magic come for answers. There's a war going on between the Wardens and creatures from another realm. The people who use magic are divided and Abernathy's is neutral territory. That doesn't mean that being the custodian of the bookshop is without dangers. Helena has to adapt as fast as she can, she has to discover who her allies are and she has to stay one step ahead of her enemies. Will she survive the dangerous position she's landed herself in? The Book of Secrets is a terrific enchanting story. I was immediately intrigued by Abernathy's, a magical bookshop that functions as an oracle is such a wonderful creative idea. The execution is flawless too, so I fell in love with the setting straight away. Helena is smart, strong and inventive. That helps when she needs to figure out how to run a bookshop with many special features after only working there for one day. There are plenty of challenges and she faces them all without giving into her fears. I loved how she grows into her new role and enjoyed every single page of her journey. Melissa McShane has a fabulous descriptive writing style. She makes the magic she writes about come to life in a great way, it's dynamic, intriguing and riveting. I was captivated by The Book of Secrets from the very first sentence and really liked how the story progresses. There are plenty of surprising twists and turns and all of Helen's adventures are equally fascinating. There's action, there are creepy creatures, handsome allies and nasty adversaries. The mystery is thrilling as well. I highly recommend The Book of Secrets, it's absolutely wonderful.