Readers who liked Greyson’s first adventure will be more than happy with this latest outing.

GREYSON GRAY: FAIR GAME

Tweedt’s (Greyson Gray: Camp Legend, 2012) preteen hero returns, this time combating terrorists that are planning an attack at the Iowa State Fair.

It’s been less than two months since 12 year-old Greyson Gray foiled a terrorist plot in his previous adventure. He’s now under the protection of FBI Agent Kip, who guards Greyson against possible retaliation from Everett Oliver Emory, the notorious terrorist brother of the man whose plans Greyson ruined. The boy is allowed to attend the fair with his friends, but it’s not long before Pluribus, an anti-government group with a possible connection to Emory, makes its presence known. There are four presidential candidates at the fair, which leads Greyson and his pals to expect the worst. This second book in Tweedt’s series has a similar plot to the first, in which Greyson fought terrorists at a sports camp, but a decidedly darker tone: Not everyone makes it to the end, and not everything is neatly resolved. Greyson, still sporting his trademark fanny pack, shows some new signs of maturity as he questions what, if anything, lies beyond death. There are some other familiar faces, including meek, stuttering Liam; twins Jarryd and Nick; and romantic interest Sydney. This time, Greyson has competition for Sydney’s affections in the form of Sam, the charming son of a governor. Jarryd, as in the previous book, provides comic relief even when he isn’t trying to do so; his text to Greyson to let him know he’s at the “rondayvoo” is particularly hilarious. But many new characters are just as memorable, including an unnamed assassin whose peeling skin (from radiation poisoning) is reminiscent of a snake’s; his creepiest moment comes when he asks Greyson, who’s watching Sam and Sydney on the dance floor, “Something troublin’ it?”—“it” meaning Greyson. The book’s final third is almost exclusively made up of action scenes, as it bounces among the perspectives of different characters, including Greyson, Kip, Greyson’s mom and Jarryd, while maintaining an impressive, tireless pace. Overall, this novel is both an improvement over the last installment and a fitting lead-in for the next in the series.

Readers who liked Greyson’s first adventure will be more than happy with this latest outing.

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4936-5677-6

Page Count: 340

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An action-packed tale that answers some long-awaited questions; fans will look forward to the promised sequel.

THE RISE OF KYOSHI

From the Chronicles of the Avatar series , Vol. 1

The origins of Kyoshi, from the beloved television series Avatar: The Last Airbender, have been shrouded in mystery—until now.

Orphaned Kyoshi is treated as an outcast in the small coastal village of Yokoya. To survive she works in the mansion of Avatar Yun as his servant and companion. When she accompanies Yun to a treaty negotiation, violence breaks out, unleashing Kyoshi’s hidden earthbending capabilities and throwing doubt on Yun’s legitimacy. Yun and Kyoshi engage in a ritual to find out who the true Avatar is only to be betrayed by one of his mentors, Jianzhu, forcing Kyoshi to flee. With the help of Rangi, a Firebender warrior and friend, they now must evade Jianzhu and his extensive network. Kyoshi receives tutelage from a group of bandits, the self-proclaimed Flying Opera Company, in hopes of taking revenge on Jianzhu. As with the original, a mix of East Asian cultures provides the template for character profiles and worldbuilding. Yee (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, 2017) artfully weaves in political entanglements as well as complex cultural identities to fully immerse readers in Kyoshi’s world. The pace strikes a careful balance between page-turning conflicts and revelations of Kyoshi's past. Each page is efficient in its storytelling, furthering the plot without lessening the suspense. Knowledge of the original series is ideal for full enjoyment.

An action-packed tale that answers some long-awaited questions; fans will look forward to the promised sequel. (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3504-2

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A slight, stilted take on a weighty issue. (Fiction. 12-16)

#NOTREADYTODIE

A school shooting changes dozens of lives.

Ginny is crouching under a desk in her homeroom, like the rest of her classmates. An unknown shooter attacked right after the start of school, wounding their substitute teacher and Ginny’s crush, Owen, and putting the school on lockdown. As the hours pass, the Canadian teens from a town outside Toronto, all apparently white, struggle to cope. The situation makes Ginny, a cutter who began self-harming after her father’s death, wish for a razor. But a new friend helps: Kayla, a cheerleader Ginny has always dismissed as a Barbie and who happens to have an uncanny amount of medical knowledge for a teenager who volunteers at a veterans’ hospital. Together, they work to keep their fellow students safe until they can be rescued—but will it be in time for the injured? While Ginny’s first-person narration and the Twitter posts at the end of each chapter help to build suspense, the plot digressions to Ginny’s dead gay uncle, her former best friend, and her stunned realization about a classmate’s sexuality dissipate that tension and undercut the seriousness. In addition, the clunky dialogue and short length do not allow the characters to feel like realistic teens. The treatment of sexual orientation in the portrayals of two gay teens, one whom girls try to “convert” while the other is outed by a gay peer, raises troubling questions.

A slight, stilted take on a weighty issue. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-988761-39-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Common Deer Press

Review Posted Online: July 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more