At least there’s a lot going on


From the Hunt series , Vol. 3

Gene escapes from certain death at bloodsucker hands—and from drowning and starvation on the river, freezing in the mountains, wickedness in the creepy murder village, a deadly plummet on a death train—until finally he’s right back in vampire central.

After their death-defying escape from the Mission in The Prey (2013), Gene, Sissy and the other humans (or hepers) find their escape vehicle takes them not to the promised land of safety, but to a cavern full of starving hepers beneath the Palace: the Ruler’s larder. Double agents promise to rescue Gene and Sissy, but the cost—the sacrifice of all the other humans in the cavern—is too high. Gene and Sis together make up the Origin; their blood combines to fuel weapons that can de-fang the vamps back into hepers. They’re the only source of the weaponized blood (for no good reason), so when their next frying-pan–to-fire maneuver sends them straight back to the metropolis filled with millions of starving man-eaters, the salvation of humanity is at risk. As if gore-drenched certain death weren’t enough cause for despair, Gene suspects his vanished father didn’t love him enough, and he has to choose between two different girls, one of whom is a vampire, which should make it easy.

At least there’s a lot going on . (Science fiction. 14-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-250-00512-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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It’s imaginative enough, but it lacks the convincing philosophical worldbuilding essential to successful fantasy.


From the Temple of Doubt series , Vol. 1

A fantasy series opener pits adolescent angst against an all-powerful religion.

Living in Port Sapphire, on the island of New Meridian in the world of Kuldor, almost-16-year-old Hadara chafes under the tenets of a religion headed by the god Nihil that teaches that magic is superior to anything in nature. Since Hadara and her mother continue the passed-down-in-the-female-line family business of concocting healing potions from plants, the two are regarded with suspicion even as their services are sought out by townspeople. When an object falls from the sky into the marsh, Azwans (mages of Nihil) and their oversized Feroxi guards arrive to investigate, complicating things for Hadara and her family, not least because Hadara begins to have feelings for one of the guards. Although Hadara is a delightfully pert narrator, the story’s foremost tension—her subversive doubt of Nihil’s tenets—fails to reach its full potential because the religious concepts are not convincingly clear enough to weave themselves inextricably into the story. Levy shines brightest in her potent descriptions of settings and her imaginative scenes. Continuity, however, is a recurring problem. Among other lapses, the first two chapters seem to be two separate beginnings.

It’s imaginative enough, but it lacks the convincing philosophical worldbuilding essential to successful fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-63220-427-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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Forgettable. (Fiction. 14-16)


A dual-narrator novel explores the concept of forgiveness.

Budding poet Sarah is torn between two colleges: Mills, which has offered her a full scholarship, and the University of Washington, whose only appeal is Mr. Haddings. A grad student and poet-in-residence at her school, the charismatic Haddings has Sarah considering a change of plans, to the dismay of Sarah’s controlling mother. Haddings knows he needs to keep the relationship professional, but he’s having a hard time with that. Then, in a moment of distraction, Haddings hits Sarah with his car. Over the next three days, Sarah will cope with the pain, the accident and her worries about her future, while her family—oblivious father, brittle mother and immature brother—and her best friend try to help her. Haddings copes with his crushing guilt, usually making choices that make everything worse. Straining credulity, both Sarah and Haddings wonder if there might be a chance for them still, when the more important question is whether they can ever forgive. Plot events are sequenced poorly and depend far too much on coincidence for their effect; the dual narrative does not provide substantial additional insight, making it feel contrived as well. Stilted dialogue makes characters feel flat, particularly Sarah’s brother.

Forgettable. (Fiction. 14-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-310-7295-0-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Blink

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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