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. 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
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >