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Critical Praise

“In a debut that is part horror novel, part thought experiment, Nolden has accomplished the feat of getting readers to ask themselves what horrors can be done to serve the greater good.”


“Every character in this book is incredibly unique...the history and science in this book is exceedingly well thought out, well researched and fabulously detailed. Where Ms. Nolden truly excels is the historical portions... For fans of real-life history, science and mysteries alike, Shelley Nolden weaves a magical story with an abundance of intrigue that will leave readers eager for a sequel.”

—Ind'Tale Magazine

“Shelly Nolden's first book --- with a promise of more --- is a wonderful mix of science fiction, history, fantasy and some wishful thinking; a worthy read on so many levels.”


“THE VINES weaves beautiful writing around an unsettling mystery: Who is the strange, scarred woman living on a seemingly uninhabitable island? Shelley Nolden's debut seems not just prescient --- given the world's current focus on virology and immunizations --- but also timeless, as it illustrates in painful detail how mankind seems destined to repeat our cruelest mistakes.”

—Sarah Pekkanen, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of YOU ARE NOT ALONE

“Highly original and richly drawn, Shelley Nolden’s THE VINES features one of the most fascinating central characters you’ll ever meet. Drawing on both the dark history of North Brother Island and today’s painfully immediate worries about immunity and transmission of deadly disease, this debut transcends genre to combine history, thrills, obsession, medical ethics, and more into the compelling story of three generations of doctors and one remarkable woman.”

—Greer Macallister, bestselling author of THE MAGICIAN'S LIE and THE ARCTIC FURY

“Eerily timely and profoundly compelling, THE VINES is an unputdownable, unforgettable saga, the journey of a seemingly helpless, persecuted American woman who survives and battles back, against all odds; this first in what promises to be an explosive series signals the arrival of Shelley Nolden's masterful new voice in hybrid fiction.”

—May Cobb, author of THE HUNTING WIVES