A suspenseful adventure but a hollow expansion of the Star Wars universe.

STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC

INTO THE DARK

When sudden disaster shuts down hyperspace travel across the galaxy, four Jedi and the crew of a shipping vessel find themselves stranded on an ancient space station haunted by the dark side.

Unlike many Jedi who long for danger, Reath, a 17-year-old human Padawan, thrives in the Archives. However, when an unexpected assignment calls him to the frontier, he has no choice but to follow orders. This unwanted adventure takes a treacherous turn when Reath and his traveling companions make an emergency exit from hyperspace to a remote sector of the galaxy with intense solar flares and an abandoned space station. To make matters worse, the survivors from other ships who are also seeking refuge have little interest in cooperation, and an insidious dark-side presence looms aboard the station. Within each chapter, third-person perspectives shift among multiple characters, including interludes with flashbacks. The plot (set in an era before The Phantom Menace) maintains a fast pace with exciting twists, but jargon litters the worldbuilding without much clarifying physical description or explanation, requiring in-depth Star Wars knowledge from readers. Primary human characters are assumed White or have tan or golden skin. Queer representation appears in the background with a same-gender couple and an asexual character.

A suspenseful adventure but a hollow expansion of the Star Wars universe. (Science fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-05728-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A rush of emotion and suspense.

THE FIRST TO DIE AT THE END

Crowds gather across the United States for the launch of Death-Cast, a company that promises to change the world by predicting the deaths of everyone who subscribes in this prequel to They Both Die at the End (2017).

Orion Pagan, an aspiring author with a heart condition, hopes his phone won’t ring at midnight, but he knows Death-Cast’s call is coming soon. Unlike Orion, Valentino Prince, a model on the verge of his national debut, has no reason to anticipate Death-Cast’s call and isn’t sure if he believes the company’s claims. By coincidence or fate, their lives collide at a party in Times Square, and a single, historic phone call alters the courses of their futures. This heart-pounding story follows the final day of the first Decker, or person who is going to die, and the national chaos of Death-Cast’s premiere. Silvera crafts a web of intricately interconnected character perspectives and conflicts around Orion and Valentino. Apart from Valentino and his twin sister, who are presumed White, most of the characters are Latine, including White-passing Orion, whose family is Puerto Rican. The story confronts heavy topics like grief, abuse, and religious faith with complexity and care. Despite the presumed inevitability of a fatal end to the central romance between Orion and Valentino, Silvera subverts the trope of punishing gay characters with violent tragedy. Familiarity with the original book provides additional context and depth but isn’t essential to understanding the plot.

A rush of emotion and suspense. (Speculative fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-324080-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 18

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

more