Readers may wish the words were food, so they could eat them up. And they may keep reading this series for just as long as...

THE BOY WHO LOST FAIRYLAND

Why live in Kansas when you can stay in Oz? Valente may well have wondered at Dorothy’s inexplicable decision. 

At the end of The Girl Who Soared over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (2013), 14-year-old September ran away from home to live in Fairyland. It was one of the best cliffhangers in recent fiction. Readers hoping for resolution will need to wait a little longer, as September hardly appears in this novel at all. As the title hints, it’s the story of a Changeling named Hawthorn, who takes the place of a human boy in Chicago. The book is full of Changelings of all stripes: trolls and humans and a girl made of wood. All of them, like September, feel out of place and far from home. Their stories are so sad and astonishing that even September—when she finally appears—may not be able to help them. If the ending feels a little abrupt, it’s because the story is so rich and complex that no book could resolve it. Even the minor supporting characters deserve novels of their own. Every page of this book contains at least one stunning sentence. Valente's descriptions of the human world make it sound like an exotic place, even when she just lists things to see: "diamonds and dinosaur bones and Canadian geese and the Cathedral of Notre Dame and ballpoint pens."

Readers may wish the words were food, so they could eat them up. And they may keep reading this series for just as long as people have been arguing about Oz. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-02349-0

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end.

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 1

Riggs spins a gothic tale of strangely gifted children and the monsters that pursue them from a set of eerie, old trick photographs.

The brutal murder of his grandfather and a glimpse of a man with a mouth full of tentacles prompts months of nightmares and psychotherapy for 15-year-old Jacob, followed by a visit to a remote Welsh island where, his grandfather had always claimed, there lived children who could fly, lift boulders and display like weird abilities. The stories turn out to be true—but Jacob discovers that he has unwittingly exposed the sheltered “peculiar spirits” (of which he turns out to be one) and their werefalcon protector to a murderous hollowgast and its shape-changing servant wight. The interspersed photographs—gathered at flea markets and from collectors—nearly all seem to have been created in the late 19th or early 20th centuries and generally feature stone-faced figures, mostly children, in inscrutable costumes and situations. They are seen floating in the air, posing with a disreputable-looking Santa, covered in bees, dressed in rags and kneeling on a bomb, among other surreal images. Though Jacob’s overdeveloped back story gives the tale a slow start, the pictures add an eldritch element from the early going, and along with creepy bad guys, the author tucks in suspenseful chases and splashes of gore as he goes. He also whirls a major storm, flying bullets and a time loop into a wild climax that leaves Jacob poised for the sequel.

A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end. (Horror/fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: June 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59474-476-1

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2014

Did you like this book?

more