If the plot’s complex, the theme resounding through this powerful trilogy couldn’t be clearer: we have the power to choose...

THE FORETELLING OF GEORGIE SPIDER

From the Tribe series , Vol. 3

The Tribe depends on Georgie’s ability to foresee possible futures; now a world-ending blizzard of emptiness is snuffing futures out, each time precipitated by Ashala’s death, in this conclusion to the trilogy begun with The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (2014).

Distinguishing what is here and real from what might never happen is challenging for Georgie. Assisted by her cave-dwelling spiders and loyal friend Daniel, she twists vines into ropes that, when connected, map outcomes, concluding that the world’s survival turns on choices made by certain individuals at a particular time. While Georgie can identify the chooser, neither choice nor outcome is foreseeable. Further, Ash must remain unaware her life’s at risk. Dangers mount when terrorists disguised as Illegals (those, like the Tribe, with Abilities) bomb the Gull City train station, causing devastating casualties, to prevent city leaders from any rapprochement with Illegals. After a chaotic attempted coup, Ash leads a mission to free detainees slated for execution, while Georgie remains in the Firstwood seeking a way through the approaching blizzard. Alexander Hoffman, the not-altogether-likable curator of human survival, lends his voice to the intricate and intriguing worldbuilding, while Starbeauty, an ethereal (but decidedly feline) cat spirit, adorns a cosmology drawn from the Australian author’s indigenous heritage and fertile imagination.

If the plot’s complex, the theme resounding through this powerful trilogy couldn’t be clearer: we have the power to choose love over hate and life over death, to forgive ourselves and others; either all life matters or none of it does. (author’s note) (Indigenous futurism. 12-adult)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9210-0

Page Count: 449

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2017

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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

CROOKED KINGDOM

From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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