From the Earthbound series , Vol. 1

A mostly promising start to a new series that offers history, romance and action to patient readers.

A supernatural adventure blends a present-day manhunt with a 200-year-old romance.

At 18, Tavia realizes that after her miraculous escape from a plane crash that killed everyone onboard, including her parents, there is little chance of returning to normal, especially with the media overeager to capture her survival story. So after relocating to New Hampshire to escape the reporters and live with her aunt and uncle, Tavia is lying low. She spends most of her time shuttling among rehab, her therapist and the library—although at the library, she is more interested in Benson, a hot library clerk, than the best-sellers. As Tavia’s relationship with Benson heats up, she begins having visions of the distant past. Although she can’t quite place these visions, she is drawn to know more, especially about the mysterious character Quinn Avery, whom she can’t help falling for despite her love for Benson and the sense of foreboding that warns her to stay away. Pike builds a world that, once established, is captivating but that does not come clear until quite late, running the danger of alienating readers. Readers might also get tangled up in the text’s purple prose; while adding to the overall romance, it can be distracting.

A mostly promising start to a new series that offers history, romance and action to patient readers. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: July 30, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59514-650-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013


There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013


From the Powerless Trilogy series , Vol. 1

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes.

The Plague has left a population divided between Elites and Ordinaries—those who have powers and those who don’t; now, an Ordinary teen fights for her life.

Paedyn Gray witnessed the king kill her father five years ago, and she’s been thieving and sleeping rough ever since, all while faking Psychic abilities. When she inadvertently saves the life of Prince Kai, she becomes embroiled in the Purging Trials, a competition to commemorate the sickness that killed most of the kingdom’s Ordinaries. Kai’s duties as the future Enforcer include eradicating any remaining Ordinaries, and these Trials are his chance to prove that he’s internalized his brutal training. But Kai can’t help but find Pae’s blue eyes, silver hair, and unabashed attitude enchanting. She likewise struggles to resist his stormy gray eyes, dark hair, and rakish behavior, even as they’re pitted against each other in the Trials and by the king himself. Scenes and concepts that are strongly reminiscent of the Hunger Games fall flat: They aren’t bolstered by the original’s heart or worldbuilding logic that would have justified a few extreme story elements. Illogical leaps and inconsistent characterizations abound, with lighthearted romantic interludes juxtaposed against genocide, child abuse, and sadism. These elements, which are not sufficiently addressed, combined with the use of ableist language, cannot be erased by any amount of romantic banter. Main characters are cued white; the supporting cast has some brown-skinned characters.

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9798987380406

Page Count: 538

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

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