Science Fiction Book Reviews

HAVOC by Jeff Sampson
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Jan. 24, 2012

"Plenty of thrilling action, clearly with more to come. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)"
The second exciting installment in the continuing saga of a dorky daytime girl who morphs into a savvy, hot chick and/or werewolf at night. Read full book review >
THE MAD MASK by Barry Lyga
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"A fizzy mix of multilayered comedy and awesomely destructive battles, presented from an unusual narrative angle. (Adventure. 10-13)"
Continuing to plead that he's not the Archvillain (2010) everyone makes him out to be, a teenager with super powers complicates his case by falling in with a hilariously crazed megalomaniac bent on world conquest. Read full book review >

BESWITCHED by Kate Saunders
FANTASY
Released: Dec. 13, 2011

"A ripping English boarding-school story with a perceptive heroine and time-travel twist guaranteed to appeal to modern schoolgirls. (Fantasy. 10-13)"
A spoiled, contemporary English schoolgirl travels back in time to 1935, where she must adjust to a different life style, make new friends and complete a mysterious task. Read full book review >
THE ALWAYS WAR by Margaret Peterson Haddix
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 15, 2011

"If hoping to grab a heartfelt connection, readers may feel sidelined, but plot turns will certainly keep them entranced. (Dystopia. 10-14)"
For the past 75 years, Tessa's nation has been at war—a war that has no end in sight. Read full book review >
CIRCUS GALACTICUS by Deva Fagan
FICTION
Released: Nov. 14, 2011

"A book that reaches for the stars and provides a thrilling ride. (Science fiction. 12 & up)"
A plucky orphan runs away to join an intergalactic circus in this frenetic science-fiction/adventure tale.After bullies at the Bleeker Academy for Girls prevent her from attending a gymnastics competition—and thus becoming an astronaut—and a mysterious man visits her in the middle of the night, 15-year-old Beatrix Ling finds refuge with a space-faring circus. Read full book review >

UNISON SPARK by Andy Marino
FICTION
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Readers will often find themselves vacillating between like and dislike. (Science fiction. 12-15)"
What if the ultimate social network tried to take over the world? Read full book review >
LITTLE WOMEN AND ME by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Set churlish quibbles aside, though, and what remains is a consistently entertaining read that delivers a genuinely original heroine and frequently hilarious satire. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
This latest venture in literary repurposing—19th-century classic to teen chicklit—features an overlooked middle sister whose freshman English assignment propels her into Alcott's novel, where, as sister to Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, she's overlooked again. Read full book review >
PRIZED by Caragh M. O'Brien
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Faintly feminist soft science fiction for preteens and teens. (Dystopia. 12-16)"
Once again, spunky teen-midwife Gaia takes down a dystopia. Read full book review >
A DAY IN THE OFFICE OF DOCTOR BUGSPIT by Elise Gravel
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Real visits to the doctor are rarely so hilarious. (Graphic picture book. 5-8)"
Expect delighted choruses of "Eeewww, gross!" at every turn from newer readers taking this tour of an outer-space clinic. Read full book review >
JUSTIN THYME by Panama Oxridge
FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"From dust jacket (which purportedly contains clues to the pseudonymous author's identity) to closing page of disguised notes, a pleaser for fans of reading that requires decoding. (map, cast list) (Fantasy. 11-13)"
Hidden messages, ambiguous clues, cryptic hints and double entendres crowd chockablock into this puzzle mystery. Read full book review >
DARK INSIDE by Jeyn Roberts
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Well-balanced, realistic suspense. (Post-apocalyptic suspense. 12 & up)"
After an apocalypse of devastating earthquakes and murderous mobs, four teenagers struggle to survive. Read full book review >
iBOY by Kevin Brooks
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"This classic superhero plot, at once cutting-edge science fiction and moral fable, is guaranteed to keep even fiction-averse, reluctant readers on the edge of their seats. (Science fiction. 14 & up)"
Tom Harvey's world is upended after he's hit by a smartphone thrown from 30 stories up. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >