What a tedious mess. Fans will, of course, adore it.

CHOSEN AT NIGHTFALL

From the Shadow Falls series , Vol. 5

The Shadow Falls series concludes, but not before the protagonist’s constant confusion over her ex-boyfriends is drawn out as long as the author can manage to stretch it.

Kylie, who could teach a graduate seminar in indecisiveness to Hamlet, has taken the length of several books to discover just what type of supernatural being she is. She spends this one in ceaseless internal debate over her main heartthrob, the werewolf Lucas. In Whispers at Moonrise (2012), Lucas went through a sham engagement ceremony with another girl, and Kylie just won’t forgive him even though she knows he’s her soul mate. Meanwhile, Derek still loves her, so she’ll have to deal with her feelings for him, too. Hunter takes short breaks from the emotional turmoil to deliver a contrived, sitcom-worthy episode about pregnancy tests. She really hits the mark with a nifty, blood-drenched, sword-wielding, severed-head–carrying girl ghost who wants Kylie to kill someone. But alas, that imaginative plotline takes up only about one-tenth of the book, finally resolved in an exciting fight scene that’s quickly dispensed with so readers can get back to the important content: boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. The author delivers it all with the required romance-writing conventions of sentence fragments, adjectival adverbs and italics, although it is still of a higher quality than much in the romance genre.

What a tedious mess. Fans will, of course, adore it. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-250-01289-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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