Fans of Clare's grandiloquence will enjoy the torrid new cast of characters, positively aquiver with secret ardor and...

LADY MIDNIGHT

From the Dark Artifices series , Vol. 1

By the Angel, it's a new series from the reigning queen of schmaltzy forbidden love against a backdrop of geysering green ichor.

Five years after the events of City of Heavenly Fire (2014), another generation of Shadowhunters confronts first love despite the sins of their fathers. Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn are 17-year-old parabatai, platonically bonded warrior lifemates, sworn to each other since they were both orphaned at 12. Julian, responsible for his four younger siblings, became grave and adult before his time, while Emma grew reckless and obsessed with revenge. Now a series of occult murders has caught Emma's attention. The resulting chaos is trademark Clare, complete with longing looks, uncannily pretty boys, and snarky banter. No mere love triangles here; the circle of taboo ardor has six participants, all preternaturally lovely and extraordinary fighters, Shadowhunter and faerie both; though most are white and the primary characters straight, at least one is explicitly brown-skinned and two of the secondary members bisexual. It's not just lust and romance driving Emma and Julian; they're positively throbbing with stoically stifled emotions for siblings, their Mexican Nephilim allies, and the long-lost half-faerie Blackthorns. Though uneven, this series opener delivers what's promised: eyes like "doors to another world," "the ocean a mile down from the surface," "an oncoming storm over the ocean," or "the back of a silver spoon."

Fans of Clare's grandiloquence will enjoy the torrid new cast of characters, positively aquiver with secret ardor and murderous zeal . (Urban fantasy. 13-17)

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6835-1

Page Count: 768

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An entertaining fantasy set in a world that readers will want to revisit.

THESE HOLLOW VOWS

Brie risks the deadly land of the Fae to save her sister.

Brie doesn’t trust many people other than Jas, her eternally hopeful sister, and Sebastian, mage apprentice and Brie’s secret love (as if she had time for romance). Brie struggles to meet the payments for the magical contracts binding their lives to Madame Vivias, supplementing her cleaning work by stealing from the rich. While the land of Faerie tempts other girls with word of a castle, a lavish ball, and a fae prince seeking a wife, Brie mistrusts the creatures who capitalize on humanity’s greed. When Jas’ contract is sold to the fae, Brie braves the golden Seelie queen’s court, meets the noble Prince Ronan, and travels on to the Unseelie king’s shadow court. In the process she discovers love, historical secrets, atrocities, and her own hidden strength. While many elements regarding the fae and a love triangle will feel familiar to fans of the genre, and the magic could have been more fleshed out, discussions of power, inequity, trust, and hope expand the worldbuilding in refreshing ways. Similarly, consideration of the balance between truth and secrets, lies and stories, is intriguing as it’s applied to characters, relationships, and historical lore. Despite certain predictable reveals, the plot itself, which starts off slowly, picks up and is pleasantly convoluted with multiple satisfying surprises. Major human characters read as White.

An entertaining fantasy set in a world that readers will want to revisit. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: July 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-38657-5

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A satisfying if slightly lesser sequel. (Romance. 13-17)

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 23

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Winner

P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 2

Lara Jean's romantic entanglements complicate themselves further.

In the wake of the events detailed in To All the Boys I Loved Before (2014), Lara Jean confesses her love for handsome golden boy Peter. This frees the pair to start a romantic relationship with a clean slate, but over the course of the novel it becomes clear that embarking on a relationship that turns an aggressive blind eye to baggage is never a good idea. When a viral video of a steamy love session between Peter and Lara Jean rears its ugly head and a boy from the past enters Lara Jean's life once more, Lara Jean's life gets complicated. Every character from Han’s adored previous novel is back, with new dimensions given to nearly every one of them. Subplots abound, among them two involving Lara Jean's father and Peter's ex-gal Genevieve, but benefitting most from this second look is John Ambrose McClaren, a boy briefly referenced in the former book who is thrust into the spotlight here as Peter's rival for Lara Jean's heart. With all these characters bouncing around, Han occasionally struggles to keep a steady hand on the novel's primary thrust: Lara Jean’s emotional development. Han gets the job done in the end, but this overeventful sequel pales to the original where structure is concerned. The author's greatest success remains her character work, and the book does indeed give everyone a solid arc, narrative be damned.

A satisfying if slightly lesser sequel. (Romance. 13-17)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2673-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2015

Did you like this book?

more