An attempted twist on The Hunger Games


From the Hunt series , Vol. 1

If the world is full of vampires, how do the humans survive?

Gene's a heper: one of the disgusting endangered species that sweats, can't see in the dark and don't have fangs. He's lived this long by disguising himself as a real person, never smiling or laughing or napping where he can be seen; gobbling bloody raw meat with his classmates; showing a stoic, expressionless face at all times. Appearing emotionless is trickier than usual when the nation announces a Heper Hunt. Every citizen of the nation will be entered into a lottery, and a lucky few will be selected to hunt the last remaining hepers to the death. When Gene is selected (of course Gene is selected), he's terrified: Training with the other lottery winners at the Heper Institute, he'll have no opportunity to scrub off the sweat, body hair, plaque and other evidence of his vile human nature. If the vampires realize there is a human among them, he'll be torn to pieces before he can blink. Luckily, Gene seems to have an unlikely ally at the Institute: Ashley June, a classmate of his who has secrets of her own. While the worldbuilding is thin and frequently nonsensical, this grotesque and bloody construction of a vampire world will appeal to readers who've been craving gore over romance with their vampires. Perhaps the sequel will bring the illogical parts together.

An attempted twist on The Hunger Games . (Paranormal adventure. 13-15)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-250-00514-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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Though it’s a bit of a slog, readers of Book 1 will find it worth the time for its unexpected conclusion


A lost prince and his ladylove must defeat the tyrant rampaging over the steppes with an army of enslaved spirits in this sequel to The Oathbreaker’s Shadow (2015).

Raim is haunted by the spirit of his best friend, Khareh—a spirit that appeared when Raim accidentally broke an oath made by another, leaving him magically marked and exiled from his nomadic tribe as an oathbreaker. Khareh yet lives, but with the best part of himself lost in the spirit, his ambition has become megalomania. Not content to be khan of his tribe alone, Khareh aims to join all the northern nomads into one massive khanate. Raim seeks control over his spirit but also yearns to rescue Wadi, the dark-skinned desert girl to whom he's given his heart. Wadi is Khareh's captive, and she is more than capable of freeing herself from the cruel young khan; nevertheless she must stay a captive. It's her destiny to make a king of Raim, she learns from a blind seer in one of the stalest tropes of superpowered disability. Raim, Khareh, and Wadi travel all over the steppes of Darhan, giving a solid glimpse of this fantasy world roughly based on the lives of Mongolian nomads. A dense narrative of tiny chapters with shifting points of view leaves little time to become invested in each character's journey.

Though it’s a bit of a slog, readers of Book 1 will find it worth the time for its unexpected conclusion . (Fantasy. 13-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7387-4512-1

Page Count: 456

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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This breathless political thriller isn't always coherent, but it keeps the adrenaline pumping


Two teens framed as terrorists need to save England from a terrorist attack and political takeover.

Charlie and Nat have been on the run since they were tricked into aiding a kidnapping and bombing (In a Split Second, 2015). Charlie, furious after the attack that killed her mother and left Nat's older brother in a coma, tried to do good by training as a soldier for the vigilante English Freedom Army. Nat and Charlie were told the EFA existed to fight terrorists like the racist League of Iron, but it turns out they were terrorists, fomenting chaos to support the political aspirations of charismatic politician Roman Riley. Now the teens, distracted by both their romance and Charlie's family secrets, must stop Riley from creating a far worse atrocity. Their single-minded focus on each other even as they learn of potentially horrific casualties can be read as either romantic or utterly lacking in empathy, but at least they prioritize the mission. Chapters that alternate their perspectives, most only about three pages, maintain endless urgency in the style of the television series 24. Though some lulls might have improved the flow, the nonstop action distracts from plot holes and flat secondary characters. U.S. readers may be bemused at the U.K. revolutionaries’ discussions of bombings but shock at the use of guns.

This breathless political thriller isn't always coherent, but it keeps the adrenaline pumping . (Thriller. 13-15)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3926-8

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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