CLOSE KIN

VOL. II, THE HOLLOW KINGDOM TRILOGY

Racial integration through wife-napping makes for awkward fantasy, despite a compellingly intricate structure. Baby sister Emily of The Hollow Kingdom (2003), a human in the goblin world, has grown into a lovable young woman. Emily’s adored by her goblin friend, elf-like throwback Seylin, but doesn’t understand his awkward words of love. Spurned, Seylin leaves the goblin kingdom to avoid Emily and search for the long-lost elves. Alas, the remaining elves are ignorant, near-extinct, poverty-stricken misogynists, and only goblin magic can save them. While Seylin quests for elves, and Emily leaves goblin lands hunting for Seylin, the all-wise goblin king arranges the capture of the remaining elf women. Their perfectly chosen goblin husbands are far superior to the crude elves; kidnapping and involuntary marriage proves the elves’ salvation. Disturbing gender roles, excessive moralizing, and a rushed and incongruous conclusion keep this sequel from achieving its rather strong potential. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8050-7497-X

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2004

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY

Han’s leisurely paced, somewhat somber narrative revisits several beach-house summers in flashback through the eyes of now 15-year-old Isabel, known to all as Belly. Belly measures her growing self by these summers and by her lifelong relationship with the older boys, her brother and her mother’s best friend’s two sons. Belly’s dawning awareness of her sexuality and that of the boys is a strong theme, as is the sense of summer as a separate and reflective time and place: Readers get glimpses of kisses on the beach, her best friend’s flirtations during one summer’s visit, a first date. In the background the two mothers renew their friendship each year, and Lauren, Belly’s mother, provides support for her friend—if not, unfortunately, for the children—in Susannah’s losing battle with breast cancer. Besides the mostly off-stage issue of a parent’s severe illness there’s not much here to challenge most readers—driving, beer-drinking, divorce, a moment of surprise at the mothers smoking medicinal pot together. The wish-fulfilling title and sun-washed, catalog-beautiful teens on the cover will be enticing for girls looking for a diversion. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: May 5, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4169-6823-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2009

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