The fantasy/Regency/history mashup readers didn’t even know they wanted.

THE DARK DAYS PACT

From the Lady Helen series , Vol. 2

Following the events of The Dark Days Club (2016), Lady Helen is back, still grappling with propriety and power.

Amid the seasonal intrigue in Brighton, Lady Helen Wrexhall has begun her Reclaimer training in earnest, supported by a motley crew: Lady Margaret and her brother (who have an unexpected past); Delia Cransdon, not quite ruined by a failed elopement; stalwart servants Darby and Mr. Quinn (a Pacific Islander, the only person of color in a sea of Regency white); and of course the enigmatic and entirely too attractive Lord Carlston, who may be slipping into madness from his repeated encounters with the terrifying Deceivers who walk among and feed off humankind. Goodman delicately balances multiple strands, tying together a slow but steady plot that moves inexorably to an action-packed climax, with a love triangle that is thematically perfect: Selburn celebrates and cherishes Helen, while Carlston pushes her. In love as in her Reclaimer powers, Helen must determine her willingness to break the rules and be her own woman, making mistakes along the way and pushing back against those, both human and Deceiver, who seek to control her. It all plays out against an impeccably researched and detailed Regency setting, and if too much time is spent in Helen’s head—well, she has a great deal to understand, and it’s not surprising if it’s taking her time to find her way through.

The fantasy/Regency/history mashup readers didn’t even know they wanted. (Historical fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-670-78548-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A rambling tale about grief that will appeal to patient, sentimental readers.

YOU'VE REACHED SAM

Technology prevails over death, giving a teenage couple a second chance at goodbye.

High school senior Julie is paralyzed with grief over her boyfriend Sam’s death in a car accident. She avoids his funeral and throws away every reminder of him. They had planned to leave their small Pacific Northwest town together, and she now faces an uncertain and empty future. But one night she impulsively dials his cell, and, inexplicably, Sam answers. This is the first of many long conversations they have, neither understanding how or why this is happening but relishing the chance to say goodbye as they could not in life. However, Julie faces a difficult choice: whether or not to alleviate the pain of Sam’s loved ones by allowing them to talk to him, though it could put their own connection at risk. Yet, letting go and moving on might be just what she needs. The emotional tenor of the book is even throughout, making the characters feel remote at times and flattening the impact of momentous events—such as Julie and Sam’s first conversation—that are often buried in minor, day-in-the-life details. The time skips can also be difficult to follow. But the concept is a smart one and is sure to intrigue readers, especially those grappling with separation, loss, and mortality. Sam is cued as Japanese American; Julie defaults to White.

A rambling tale about grief that will appeal to patient, sentimental readers. (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76203-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more