Science Fiction Book Reviews

HAVOC by Jeff Sampson
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
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
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
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 >
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
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
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
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 >
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
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
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
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
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >