Plenty of fan service within a rich setting.

THE LOST BOOK OF THE WHITE

From the Eldest Curses series , Vol. 2

“Malec” and friends go to Shanghai in this spinoff series sequel.

A peaceful night (infant son asleep, sailor pajamas on, book in lap) turns rowdy when intruders break into Magnus Bane’s Brooklyn apartment. Shinyun Jung appears with Ragnor Fell, Magnus’ old friend whom he thought to be dead. The two warlocks are working on a project together—something involving Sammael (the Father of Demons) and the Book of the White (which they’ve just stolen from baby Max’s room). Before departing nearly scratch-free, Shinyun “gifts” Magnus by stabbing him with a weapon called the Svefnthorn and leaving a glowing hole in his chest. Magnus and Alec Lightwood rally the rest of the Shadowhunter crew to retrieve the book and prevent this scheme from reaching completion. But between misbehaving portals, a mysterious magical injury, and excessive demons, can they save the world again? And who will watch the baby? Though just as sexy as ever, the relationship between Alec and Magnus dips into sentimentality as they balance newfound parenthood with their thirst for adventure—and each other. Despite high stakes, heroes and villains alike adopt a witty, almost jovial disposition that makes the plot read like a romantic, but dangerous, vacation. The incorporation of Chinese Shadowhunters, gods, demons, and realms deepens the series’ mythology. Multiple forbidden relationships between Shadowhunters and Downworlders symbolically echo the fight for marriage equality.

Plenty of fan service within a rich setting. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9512-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences.

MIDNIGHT SUN

From the Twilight series , Vol. 5

A long-awaited Twilight (2005) companion novel told from vampire Edward’s point of view.

Edward Cullen, a 104-year-old vampire (and eternal 17-year-old), finds his world turned upside down when new girl Bella Swan’s addictive scent drives a primal hunger, launching the classic story of vampire-meets-girl, vampire-wants-to-eat-girl, vampire-falls-in-love-with-girl. Edward’s broody inner monologue allows readers to follow every beat of his falling in love. The glacial pace and already familiar plot points mean that instead of surprise twists, characterization reigns. Meyer doesn’t shy away from making Edward far less sympathetic than Bella’s view of him (and his mind reading confirms that Bella’s view of him isn’t universal). Bella benefits from being seen without the curtain of self-deprecation from the original book, as Edward analyzes her every action for clues to her personality. The deeper, richer characterization of the leads comes at the expense of the secondary cast, who (with a few exceptions) alternate primarily along gender lines, between dimwitted buffoons and jealous mean girls. Once the vampiric threat from James’ storyline kicks off, vampire maneuvering and strategizing show off the interplay of the Cullens’ powers in a fresh way. After the action of the climax starts in earnest, though, it leans more into summary and monologue to get to the well-known ending. Aside from the Quileutes and the occasional background character, the cast defaults to White.

A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences. (Paranormal romance. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-70704-6

Page Count: 672

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

CROOKED KINGDOM

From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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