Stuffed with cameos from nearly every character of note from the Shadowhunter universe, there's not even enough room here...

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TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY

Ten previously published short stories take Simon from amnesia to Ascension.

After losing both his memory and his vampirism at the climax of City of Heavenly Fire (2014), Simon Lewis can't bear to be around the nigh-strangers who were once his best friend, his Shadowhunter allies, and his girlfriend, Isabelle. What better way for Simon to regain his lost life than to attend demon-fighting school, prepare to drink from the Mortal Cup, and hope Ascension grants him both phenomenal cosmic powers and his lost memories? Over the course of two years, the white, Jewish Simon goes from being a gangly nerd to someone who fits in among the "near perfect specimen[s] of humanity" who are his classmates. Though Simon builds a social network among both Shadowhunter and mundane students, the institution itself never becomes any less stunningly discriminatory (the mundanes, as "dregs," live in the slime- and rat-infested basements, for instance), making Simon's efforts feel futile. Simon himself measures his own improvement by gaining enough bulk to "trade in his ladies'-sized gear for a men's size." With chapters originally published as individual e-books over the course of 2015, this compilation shows its seams; the characters and setting are reintroduced every 60-odd pages.

Stuffed with cameos from nearly every character of note from the Shadowhunter universe, there's not even enough room here for fan service . (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4325-8

Page Count: 672

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles.

A MAP OF DAYS

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 4

The victory of Jacob and his fellow peculiars over the previous episode’s wights and hollowgasts turns out to be only one move in a larger game as Riggs (Tales of the Peculiar, 2016, etc.) shifts the scene to America.

Reading largely as a setup for a new (if not exactly original) story arc, the tale commences just after Jacob’s timely rescue from his decidedly hostile parents. Following aimless visits back to newly liberated Devil’s Acre and perfunctory normalling lessons for his magically talented friends, Jacob eventually sets out on a road trip to find and recruit Noor, a powerful but imperiled young peculiar of Asian Indian ancestry. Along the way he encounters a semilawless patchwork of peculiar gangs, syndicates, and isolated small communities—many at loggerheads, some in the midst of negotiating a tentative alliance with the Ymbryne Council, but all threatened by the shadowy Organization. The by-now-tangled skein of rivalries, romantic troubles, and family issues continues to ravel amid bursts of savage violence and low comedy (“I had never seen an invisible person throw up before,” Jacob writes, “and it was something I won’t soon forget”). A fresh set of found snapshots serves, as before, to add an eldritch atmosphere to each set of incidents. The cast defaults to white but includes several people of color with active roles.

Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles. (Horror/Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3214-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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