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Matt Hlinak

Matt Hlinak
Matt Hlinak is an administrator at Dominican University, just outside of Chicago. He teaches courses in English and legal studies. His short stories have appeared in 'Sudden Flash Youth' (Persea Books 2011) and several literary magazines. 'DoG' (2012) is his debut novel.

Jo Walton’s ‘The Just City’ is worth traveling to

the just city detail

Jo Walton’s latest novel, 'The Just City,' contains time travel, robots and Greek gods, yet its realistic characters—even the divinities—dominate the narrative with their personal struggles to achieve their “best selves.” This is Jo Walton’s strength—no matter how outlandish the setting, her characters always read as real people I want to get to know.

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‘C.O.W.L.’ Vol. 1 masterfully weaves Chicago into its truly original superhero story

Cowl-1-Featured

Just when I think there is nothing more that can be done with the “fights-in-tights” genre, 'C.O.W.L.' comes up with something truly original. In the tradition of 'Watchmen,' this book explores what a world with superheroes would really be like. It's a refreshing take on the superhero genre, with super-powered fistfights taking a backseat to bare-knuckle politics.

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Follow the breadcrumbs to the frightening ‘Gretel and the Dark’

gretel and the dark cover detail

Eliza Granville’s 'Gretel and the Dark' combines magical realism and historical fiction to offer a unique perspective on the Holocaust. Granville weaves fairy tale motifs in with two narratives from different time periods, and the actions in one storyline invariable echo in the other. On the whole, the novel is a brilliant debut by a talented writer. 'Gretel and the Dark' is a frightening but ultimately uplifting modern fairy tale.

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