Fans of the first volume will be pleased with this duology closer.

NAMESAKE

From the Fable series , Vol. 2

A young woman unravels her hidden past and finds her true family and home in this sequel to Fable (2020).

Fable had believed that the treasure she salvaged for her crewmates would be enough to free them from her father, the sinister trader Saint. But now she’s a prisoner, delivered across the sea to an even more ruthless adversary: her fabulously wealthy and powerful grandmother. The only way out is to use her skill and magic to locate a legendary gemstone that may not even exist. This sequel barely pauses for breath before plunging immediately into a convoluted plot dense with romance, political intrigue, seafaring adventure, double- and triple-crosses, and graphic, bloody violence. While all this should be gripping, it too often fizzles into anticlimax. Still, the poetic, sensual prose creates a richly imagined maritime world, grim and cruel but also occasionally wondrous, diverse in culture, class, and sexuality. The first-person narrative is so deeply immersed in Fable’s perpetually angry, desperately affection-starved perspective that it is a repeated shock to be reminded that those for whom she lies, cheats, and betrays are objectively horrible people—power-hungry criminals and stone-cold murderers—indistinguishable from the putative villains. The resolution may be rather trite, but it’s hard to begrudge a safe harbor after such a stormy passage.

Fans of the first volume will be pleased with this duology closer. (Fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-25439-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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