Shallow execution mars an intriguing premise.

THIS IS NOT THE END

Lake Devereaux, 17, lost two beloved friends in a horrific accident, but she’s permitted to resurrect just one person, an agonizing choice complicated by a promise made years earlier.

Medical breakthroughs have made human resurrection possible. Regulations for population control provide that on their 18th birthday, each teen may elect to resurrect one dead person, at that time only. Resurrection is possible years after death, the resurrected person resuming life, free of flaws or disease, at the age they were when they died. Lake’s older brother, Matt, was paralyzed from the neck down in an accident four years ago. Embittered, he stopped trying to kill himself only when their parents secured Lake’s promise to resurrect him after a planned suicide. While her dead friends’ parents beg Lake to resurrect one of their children, Matt and her parents remind her she’s already committed. Then, with a boy she meets in a therapist’s waiting room, she uncovers secrets prompting hard questions about her friends, family, and herself (all evidently white). The novel’s best when exploring how resurrecting a loved one transforms individuals, families, and friends. The effect on the larger world remains unexplored. Odd, contradictory resurrection rules go unexplained. Could a resurrected person resurrect another person? Resurrection’s existed for decades yet seems to have effected only minor, local changes. These worldbuilding defects impede what should be provocative explorations of disability and medical ethics.

Shallow execution mars an intriguing premise. (Science fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-5024-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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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A worthy successor to an explosive debut.

BLOODMARKED

From the Legendborn series , Vol. 2

After Awakening the dormant spirit of her ancestor King Arthur Pendragon, almost-17-year-old Briana Matthews must fight to learn and control her magical inheritances.

As a Black person who also possesses the ability to use Root, a form of magic borrowed from deceased practitioners and passed down to her through her mother’s family, Bree is unique in the Line of Pendragon. It is through blood and violence that Bree’s magical abilities intertwined—both those from Arthur’s Welsh origins and from her family’s Bloodcraft originating during chattel slavery in the American South. Together they have turned her into one of the most powerful people either Line has ever known. The intricacies of her navigation of her new powers are at the heart of this sequel to Legendborn (2020), especially as Bree balances the knowledge that her Blackness creates a critical distance between her and the racist people she is sworn to protect as the king of all Legendborns. The plot is complex, and the morsels of information that help fill in the gaps of knowledge don’t always feel fully formed, which may leave readers confused as they try to keep up with the new powers and beings that are presented. Still, there are important, if hard to read, references, for example, when Bree is kidnapped and experimented on by an all-White council, a turn of events that reflects Deonn’s commitment to presenting unflinching truths about the cyclical insidiousness of racism.

A worthy successor to an explosive debut. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4163-7

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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