Both rich and easy to digest, this will leave fans hungry for the third book.

CROSSED

Cassia and Ky grapple with secrets, wilderness and the tumultuous meanings of love in the second installment of this addictive, layered dystopic trilogy.

Far away from both each other and the neatly manicured and repressive Society suburbs, Ky and Cassia are both on the run. Cassia slyly gets herself moved from a work camp to the Outer Provinces, where kids are shipped to die as “decoys”—defenseless shooting fodder for the Enemy. She’s not positive that Ky’s there, but readers are: The two alternate narrating in first-person present. Ky’s voice is dry and harsh, Cassia’s lusher, befitting their life histories. They’re desperate to find each other. She’s exhilarated at whispers of an anti-Society rebellion called the Rising; Ky hates the Rising but holds his reasons close, parceling out his story slowly. When Cassia and Ky find each other, deception looms large, as does Cassia's official Match, Xander, geographically distant but sharply relevant. Although two-boys-one-girl triangles run rife in this genre, Condie’s is complicated and particularly human, involving real emotional scars. While more loosely woven than Matched (2010), this volume has its own boons, including non-linear travel through a rough canyon and critical interpretations of Tennyson’s symbolism, which could change their world. Questions—about Cassia’s vulnerability to the Society’s pills, about the Enemy’s identity and the Rising’s true nature—hover for next time.

Both rich and easy to digest, this will leave fans hungry for the third book. (Science fiction/romance. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-525-42365-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 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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A rush of emotion and suspense.

THE FIRST TO DIE AT THE END

Crowds gather across the United States for the launch of Death-Cast, a company that promises to change the world by predicting the deaths of everyone who subscribes in this prequel to They Both Die at the End (2017).

Orion Pagan, an aspiring author with a heart condition, hopes his phone won’t ring at midnight, but he knows Death-Cast’s call is coming soon. Unlike Orion, Valentino Prince, a model on the verge of his national debut, has no reason to anticipate Death-Cast’s call and isn’t sure if he believes the company’s claims. By coincidence or fate, their lives collide at a party in Times Square, and a single, historic phone call alters the courses of their futures. This heart-pounding story follows the final day of the first Decker, or person who is going to die, and the national chaos of Death-Cast’s premiere. Silvera crafts a web of intricately interconnected character perspectives and conflicts around Orion and Valentino. Apart from Valentino and his twin sister, who are presumed White, most of the characters are Latine, including White-passing Orion, whose family is Puerto Rican. The story confronts heavy topics like grief, abuse, and religious faith with complexity and care. Despite the presumed inevitability of a fatal end to the central romance between Orion and Valentino, Silvera subverts the trope of punishing gay characters with violent tragedy. Familiarity with the original book provides additional context and depth but isn’t essential to understanding the plot.

A rush of emotion and suspense. (Speculative fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-324080-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

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