From the Reckoners series , Vol. 2

Big in size and vision, this is the rare middle volume that keeps the throttle open and actually moves the story along...

Teen slayer of evil, superpowered Epics David Charleston carries the fight from Newcago to New York in this slash-and-burn sequel.

Arriving with his boss, Jon Phaedrus, Dark Knight–ish founder of the Epic-killing Reckoners, David is stunned to find the city—now known as Babylon Restored, or Babilar—flooded, weirdly lit by glowing graffiti and populated by lotus eaters who subsist on glowing fruit that grows indoors. He faces three powerful Epics: Newton, who can deflect bullets; Obliteration, mad destroyer of Houston; and, most dangerous of all, hydromancer and wily former attorney Regalia. As in the previous episode (Steelheart, 2013), Sanderson presents a Marvel Comics–style mix of violently destructive battles, fabulous feats and ongoing inner wrestling over morality and identity. He lightens this with such elements as an Epic who is felled by Kool-Aid balloons and David’s predilection for hilariously lame similes (a room is “lit by fruit that dangled from the ceiling like snot from the nose of a toddler who had been snorting glowsticks”). Risky romance plus late revelations about the source and flaw in all the Epics’ powers set up the (probable) closer.

Big in size and vision, this is the rare middle volume that keeps the throttle open and actually moves the story along significantly. (Fantasy. 11-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-74358-7

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014


From the Girl of Fire and Thorns series , Vol. 1

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel,...

Adventure drags our heroine all over the map of fantasyland while giving her the opportunity to use her smarts.

Elisa—Princess Lucero-Elisa de Riqueza of Orovalle—has been chosen for Service since the day she was born, when a beam of holy light put a Godstone in her navel. She's a devout reader of holy books and is well-versed in the military strategy text Belleza Guerra, but she has been kept in ignorance of world affairs. With no warning, this fat, self-loathing princess is married off to a distant king and is embroiled in political and spiritual intrigue. War is coming, and perhaps only Elisa's Godstone—and knowledge from the Belleza Guerra—can save them. Elisa uses her untried strategic knowledge to always-good effect. With a character so smart that she doesn't have much to learn, body size is stereotypically substituted for character development. Elisa’s "mountainous" body shrivels away when she spends a month on forced march eating rat, and thus she is a better person. Still, it's wonderfully refreshing to see a heroine using her brain to win a war rather than strapping on a sword and charging into battle.

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel, reminiscent of Naomi Kritzer's Fires of the Faithful (2002), keeps this entry fresh. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-202648-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011


Well-educated American boys from privileged families have abundant options for college and career. For Chiko, their Burmese counterpart, there are no good choices. There is never enough to eat, and his family lives in constant fear of the military regime that has imprisoned Chiko’s physician father. Soon Chiko is commandeered by the army, trained to hunt down members of the Karenni ethnic minority. Tai, another “recruit,” uses his streetwise survival skills to help them both survive. Meanwhile, Tu Reh, a Karenni youth whose village was torched by the Burmese Army, has been chosen for his first military mission in his people’s resistance movement. How the boys meet and what comes of it is the crux of this multi-voiced novel. While Perkins doesn’t sugarcoat her subject—coming of age in a brutal, fascistic society—this is a gentle story with a lot of heart, suitable for younger readers than the subject matter might suggest. It answers the question, “What is it like to be a child soldier?” clearly, but with hope. (author’s note, historical note) (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-58089-328-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

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