ERASING TIME

A dash of time travel gives a fresh flavor to the quickly staling dystopia genre.

Just as apprentice wordsmith Echo, a historian who’s studied the progression of the English language, prepares to flee his totalitarian city in the year 2447, a mad scientist unleashes the Time Strainer. Programmed to retrieve Tyler Sherwood, who revolutionized theories about matter in the 21st century, the time machine mistakenly delivers identical twin females, Taylor and Sheridan. Because of his abilities, Echo is assigned to monitor and translate for the teenage sisters. The initially slow third-person narration picks up pace as it alternates between Echo’s and Sheridan’s points of view. After learning about a Mafia-like organization that controls society and the mad scientist’s real plans for the Time Strainer, the twins decide to escape. Although kissing hasn’t changed in four centuries, Sheridan’s not sure she can completely trust Echo to help them. What the story lacks in detail of the futuristic time period, it makes up in its attention to the evolution of language and religion. Taylor and Sheridan’s quick-thinking idioms allow them to make plans right under the guards’ noses and strike while the iron is hot. For once, literature buff Sheridan outshines her physicist-prodigy sister. Dramatic twists and turns to the very end ensure readers’ attention and the possibility of an equally thrilling sequel. (Science fiction. 13 & up)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-212392-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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Star-crossed lovers carve their own paths in an explosive conclusion that lives up to its title.

OUR VIOLENT ENDS

From the These Violent Delights series , Vol. 2

New monsters terrorize Shanghai amid political upheaval and the reignition of the blood feud between the Chinese Scarlet Gang and the Russian White Flowers.

The death of Marshall Seo unleashed a new wave of violence, but when a mysterious figure wielding control over more deadly-insect–releasing monsters begins extorting money from both gangs, their leaders agree to temporarily cooperate in the interests of eliminating a mutual foe. They order their respective heirs to find the blackmailer, and so, once again, Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai must work together for the benefit of those under their protection. But their feelings for each other—complicated by hidden truths, lingering love, and unforgiving duty—prove difficult to repress. Meanwhile, the time of revolution draws near: Workers continue to organize protests decrying both foreign occupation and gangster rule as the Nationalist Army marches toward Shanghai in its campaign to unite and reclaim the country. Secrets abound and loyalties are tested in this tightly plotted sequel featuring a multinational cast and told through multiple third-person perspectives, including those of supporting characters introduced in These Violent Delights (2020). Stubborn Rosalind, obliging Kathleen, and grief-stricken Benedikt all return to play vital roles that blend seamlessly into Roma’s and Juliette’s storylines as they each are forced to consider what it is they truly want and the lengths they will go to protect it.

Star-crossed lovers carve their own paths in an explosive conclusion that lives up to its title. (Historical fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-534-45772-0

Page Count: 512

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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