by April Wahlin ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 12, 2018
Girl meets boy, becomes a vampire, and learns the ways of the undead in this entertaining but familiar tale.
A newly born vampire navigates the ins and outs of the supernatural world in this series opener.
Pandora Todd is a bit of an odd duck. While living a seemingly normal life in California, she experiences an occasional “episode” or two. Like the time her dead grandmother wakes up in her coffin and speaks to Dora. But life gets especially strange when Dora joins the ranks of the undead. She is shot and killed by an unknown assailant outside a bar in Los Angeles. Luckily, a handsome vampire named Remy (whose protective nature, age, and skill set recall numerous other literary vamps) is on hand to bring her back to life. Thus, Dora’s new journey begins. Under Remy’s tutelage, she learns the ways of the supernatural world. There are werewolves, witches, zombies, and a governing body known as the Order that keeps everyone in line. But as Dora and Remy quickly discover, she isn’t your run-of-the-mill vampire. She is also a necromancer who can raise the dead and create zombies of her own. But there’s another necromancer lurking in the shadows, an unknown threat that Dora and Remy can’t quite figure out. Wahlin (Thirteen Offerings, 2015) does a nice job creating Dora’s world and building a society of supernatural creatures who roam the streets largely without human knowledge. Some of the more humorous moments in the narrative are thanks to the author’s clever juxtaposition of the excitement and adventure of becoming a vampire with the decidedly less sexy reality of everyday life. In addition to learning how to feed off humans and control her superstrength, Dora still needs to find a job. The decision to make Dora a necromancer is also a good one. It’s a nice twist in an otherwise standard vampire tale. The vamp romance, interactions between the living and the dead, and a score of supernatural beings have been well-explored by characters such as Stephenie Meyer’s Edward Cullen, Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse, and others.Girl meets boy, becomes a vampire, and learns the ways of the undead in this entertaining but familiar tale.
Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2018
Page Count: 536
Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2019
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015
The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
National Book Award Finalist
Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.
Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Pub Date: March 10, 2015
Page Count: 720
Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015
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by J.D. Salinger ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 15, 1951
A strict report, worthy of sympathy.
A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.
"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….A strict report, worthy of sympathy.
Pub Date: June 15, 1951
Page Count: -
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951
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