A lovely, tear-jerking tale of time travel, familial love, and sacrifice.


The Clay Lion

From the The Clay Lion Series series , Vol. 1

In this first book in a YA sci-fi series, a grieving teenager goes back in time in a desperate attempt to save her younger brother.

Brooke Wallace is a senior in high school when her brother, Branson, develops a cough that won’t go away. Her family is devastated when he’s diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and dies within four months. Spiraling into depression, Brooke becomes “obsessed with the idea that I wasn’t living the life set for my soul”; soon, she decides to set things right by taking her government-approved trip back into her own past. In this near-future setting, all citizens get one free chance to relive part of their lives—however, time travelers are under strict orders not to do things differently and risk changing not only their timelines, but those of others. Yet Brooke feels sure that she can keep Branson alive without altering much else. With her parents’ blessing and secret research help from her brother’s doctor, she’s transported to a point months before Branson’s death. She’ll make a total of three trips as she struggles to figure out why Branson got sick—was it the cream for a skin rash or asbestos in an attic?—and keep him away from the cause. When her first attempt fails, she uses her mother’s trip. This go-round, she’s sure Branson’s escaped and strikes up a relationship with a boy named Charlie Johnson; then her brother starts coughing again, and when Brooke returns to her present, he’s still dead, her parents have separated, and she’s broken Charlie’s heart. Will Brooke ever be able to move on from Branson’s death? Or will she lose her life trying to save his? This poignant, well-written story puts mortality—and readers’ reactions to it—front and center. Brooke muses at the beginning of the tale: “The first time Branson died, the ‘original’ time, as I would come to refer to it, I almost died with him. Not literally, but figuratively. My soul broke into a thousand tiny pieces I didn’t think I would ever be able to put back together well enough to sustain a normal existence.” As Jahn (Let Them Burn Cake!, 2015, etc.) takes Brooke through the same events multiple times, the author explores how small changes can snowball into huge ones and how attitudes can influence, if not overcome, tragedy.

A lovely, tear-jerking tale of time travel, familial love, and sacrifice.

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-615-76496-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: BermLord

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A thrilling and satisfying sequel to the 1969 classic.


Over 50 years after an extraterrestrial microbe wiped out a small Arizona town, something very strange has appeared in the Amazon jungle in Wilson’s follow-up to Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain.

The microparticle's introduction to Earth in 1967 was the disastrous result of an American weapons research program. Before it could be contained, Andromeda killed all but two people in tiny Piedmont, Arizona; during testing after the disaster, AS-1 evolved and escaped into the atmosphere. Project Eternal Vigilance was quickly set up to scan for any possible new outbreaks of Andromeda. Now, an anomaly with “signature peaks” closely resembling the original Andromeda Strain has been spotted in the heart of the Amazon, and a Wildfire Alert is issued. A diverse team is assembled: Nidhi Vedala, an MIT nanotechnology expert born in a Mumbai slum; Harold Odhiambo, a Kenyan xenogeologist; Peng Wu, a Chinese doctor and taikonaut; Sophie Kline, a paraplegic astronaut and nanorobotics expert based on the International Space Station; and, a last-minute addition, roboticist James Stone, son of Dr. Jeremy Stone from The Andromeda Strain. They must journey into the deepest part of the jungle to study and hopefully contain the dire threat that the anomaly seemingly poses to humanity. But the jungle has its own dangers, and it’s not long before distrust and suspicion grip the team. They’ll need to come together to take on what waits for them inside a mysterious structure that may not be of this world. Setting the story over the course of five days, Wilson (Robopocalypse, 2011, etc.) combines the best elements of hard SF novels and techno-thrillers, using recovered video, audio, and interview transcripts to shape the narrative, with his own robotics expertise adding flavor and heft. Despite a bit of acronym overload, this is an atmospheric and often terrifying roller-coaster ride with (literally) sky-high stakes that pays plenty of homage to The Andromeda Strain while also echoing the spirit and mood of Crichton’s other works, such as Jurassic Park and Congo. Add more than a few twists and exciting set pieces (especially in the finale) to the mix, and you’ve got a winner.

A thrilling and satisfying sequel to the 1969 classic.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-247327-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

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Manic parodist Moore, fresh off a season in 1947 San Francisco (Noir, 2018), returns with a rare gift for Shakespeare fans who think A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be perfect if only it were a little more madcap.

Cast adrift by pirates together with his apprentice, halfwit giant Drool, and Jeff, his barely less intelligent monkey, Pocket of Dog Snogging upon Ouze, jester to the late King Lear, washes ashore in Shakespeare’s Athens, where Cobweb, a squirrel by day and fairy by night, takes him under her wing and other parts. Soon after he encounters Robin Goodfellow (the Puck), jester to shadow king Oberon, and Nick Bottom and the other clueless mechanicals rehearsing Pyramus and Thisby in a nearby forest before they present it in celebration of the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the captive Amazon queen who’s captured his heart, Pocket (The Serpent of Venice, 2014, etc.) finds Robin fatally shot by an arrow. Suspected briefly of the murder himself, he’s commissioned, first by Hippolyta, then by the unwitting Theseus, to identify the Puck’s killer. Oh, and Egeus, the Duke’s steward, wants him to find and execute Lysander, who’s run off with Egeus’ daughter, Hermia, instead of marrying Helena, who’s in love with Demetrius. As English majors can attest, a remarkable amount of this madness can already be found in Shakespeare’s play. Moore’s contribution is to amp up the couplings, bawdy language, violence, and metatextual analogies between the royals, the fairies, the mechanicals, his own interloping hero, and any number of other plays by the Bard.

A kicky, kinky, wildly inventive 21st-century mashup with franker language and a higher body count than Hamlet.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-243402-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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