Nevertheless, Streeter’s world is interesting and has potential; here’s hoping the writing will improve as the series...


From the Silverwood series , Vol. 1

A time-traveling, portal-jumping sci-fi with multiple narrative perspectives.

The flap claims Helen Silverwood, a 14-year-old with a knack for hacking, is the protagonist of this tale, but her father, Gabriel, her mother, Kate, and various others share narrative space. After a bumpy start with clunky descriptions, readers learn that both Silverwood parents are ex-agents—people who protect the general population from the Tromindox, age-old predators of humans. Before the book’s action begins, a fallout with the Council (which controls the agents) landed Gabriel in prison, and Kate fled with Helen and son Henry to another time. Kate scrapes by bounty hunting Tromindox, but both Helen and Henry—unaware of the circumstances that necessitate their constant moves—are frustrated. When a disgruntled Council member allies with the Tromindox, both Silverwood children—who have special gifts: Helen can heal the humans on which Tromindox prey, and Henry can draw the future—are in danger. All the Silverwoods end up in an old ghost town where they discover an evil Tromindox plot. The third-person narration sometimes feels awkward, though the multiple points of view keep the pace moving. Additionally, some characters (Henry in particular) can feel inauthentic at times.

Nevertheless, Streeter’s world is interesting and has potential; here’s hoping the writing will improve as the series continues. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61153-119-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Light Messages

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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The sardonic tone of the narrator’s voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism...


From the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series , Vol. 1

Edgar Award–winning Riordan leaves the adult world of mystery to begin a fantasy series for younger readers. 

Twelve-year-old Percy (full name, Perseus) Jackson has attended six schools in six years. Officially diagnosed with ADHD, his lack of self-control gets him in trouble again and again. What if it isn’t his fault? What if all the outrageous incidents that get him kicked out of school are the result of his being a “half-blood,” the product of a relationship between a human and a Greek god? Could it be true that his math teacher Mrs. Dodds transformed into a shriveled hag with bat wings, a Fury, and was trying to kill him? Did he really vanquish her with a pen that turned into a sword? One need not be an expert in Greek mythology to enjoy Percy’s journey to retrieve Zeus’s master bolt from the Underworld, but those who are familiar with the deities and demi-gods will have many an ah-ha moment. Along the way, Percy and his cohort run into Medusa, Cerberus and Pan, among others. 

The sardonic tone of the narrator’s voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism that questions the realities of our world, family, friendship and loyalty. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7868-5629-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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From the Harry Potter series , Vol. 5


The Potternaut rolls on, picking up more size than speed but propelling 15-year-old Harry through more hard tests of character and magical ability. Rowling again displays her ability to create both likable and genuinely scary characters, most notable among the latter being a pair of Dementors who accost Harry in a dark alley in the opening chapter. Even more horrible, Ministry of Magic functionary Dolores Umbridge descends upon Hogwarts with a tinkly laugh, a taste in office decor that runs to kitten paintings, and the authority, soon exercised, to torture students, kick Harry off the Quidditch team, fire teachers, and even to challenge Dumbledore himself. Afflicted with sudden fits of adolescent rage, Harry also has worries, from upcoming exams and recurrent eerie dreams to the steadfast refusal of the Magical World's bureaucracy to believe that Voldemort has returned. Steadfast allies remain, including Hermione, whose role here is largely limited to Chief Explainer, and a ragtag secret order of adults formed to protect him from dangers, which they characteristically keep to themselves until he finds out about them the hard way. Constructed, like Goblet of Fire, of multiple, weakly connected plot lines and rousing, often hilarious set pieces, all set against a richly imagined backdrop, this involves its characters once again in plenty of adventures while moving them a step closer to maturity. And it's still impossible to predict how it's all going to turn out.

None (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: July 1, 2003

ISBN: 9780439358064

Page Count: 896

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2003

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