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Must-reads: three of this winter’s hottest novels depict Toronto as a city full of freaks, geeks and demigods

Most-reads: Born WeirdBorn Weird
By Andrew Kaufman
The relentlessly imaginative Kaufman writes high-concept modern fairy tales that hit the sweet spot between comic book quirky and genuinely touching. His latest novel follows the five aptly named Weird siblings, all of whom were blessed at birth by their grandmother—one always forgives, one never gets lost, one never loses hope, one always keeps himself safe and one is just a little stronger than any opponent. When the blessings turn out to be curses, the grown-up Weirds must dash across the country to get unhexed. It’s a tear-jerking family drama with a dash of The Incredibles. (Available now)


Must-reads: A Murder of CrownsA Murder of Crows
By David Rotenberg
The Junction Chronicles is a series of high-stakes thrillers about shadowy government agencies and oddball superpowers set partly in the west end neighbourhood author Rotenberg calls home. Decker Roberts, the reluctant sleuth at the centre of the series, has the ability to detect when people are lying, which lands him some nice corporate gigs but makes him a target. In this second instalment, he searches for his long-lost son, tracks down a killer, dodges the men in black and discovers others who possess his deceit-sniffing gift. Rotenberg tells the tale in short, action-packed chapters that go down like chilled vodka shots. (Available now)


Must-reads: Sister MineSister Mine
By Nalo Hopkinson
Novels and stories by the Jamaican-born Hopkinson have won just about every sci-fi and fantasy award there is. She throws together Afro-Caribbean myth and pulpy, urban drama for something that is as audacious as it is addictive. In her newest book, two estranged sisters must patch things up after their father goes missing. Did we mention that their father is a god, and their mother a sea creature? And that the sisters are former conjoined twins, and the process of separating them left one with an enchanted siren’s singing voice? Their worlds collide with ours in a violent and over-the-top climax that reads like a manga comic for grown-ups. (Available March 12)

 

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