WHISPER THE DEAD

From the Lovegrove Legacy series , Vol. 2

Regency London continues to boil over with witches, mostly aristocratic ones, as three cousins, each with her potential boyfriend, battle the allies of evil witches thought vanquished in A Breath of Frost (2014).

Even though Napoleon has just been captured, thus setting the book in 1814, the real war continues among the witches. Gretchen, Emma and Penelope still reside at their school for witches, learning both spells and proper deportment. Although they chafe at the need to act ladylike, nevertheless they traipse all over London without permission and frequently without chaperones. They see ghosts and wonder why. Various exciting incidents happen with all three, always involving dark magic, usually including the potential boyfriends and sometimes including Moira, the little Madcap witch who skips over rooftops. They spend time at the goblin markets, meeting the Toad Mother, a nifty minor character. Tension persists between the girls and the Order, the tyrannical society of aristocratic warlocks who control the magic in London. Everyone has a personal crisis. Some kissing occurs, and there’s plenty of snappy patter. Finally, all of magical London comes under attack by the evil Greymalkin Sisters, newly unleashed. Harvey keeps the romance and action flowing throughout the lengthy narrative, although she doesn’t spend enough time with spunky Moira, the most original and entertaining character in the book. This installment ends with a major cliffhanger, propelling fans into the next book.

Occult cotton candy. (Paranormal romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-3750-2

Page Count: 408

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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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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