The inventiveness of the many worlds Marguerite traverses should keep fans happy.

TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU

From the Firebird series , Vol. 2

The parallel-universe sci-fi/romance story begun with A Thousand Pieces of You (2014) continues.

Marguerite travels with her friend Theo through the multiverse to new worlds (here persistently called “dimensions”) with her parents’ marvelous Firebird device, trying to save Paul, the love of her life. Villain Wyatt Conley, tech whiz and corporate mogul, has splintered Paul’s soul into four parts. If Marguerite sabotages the Firebird technology in other universes, thus allowing Conley to control it all, he will give her the coordinates necessary to find all the parts of Paul’s soul. On her travels she learns some disturbing things about Paul even as she tries to outwit Conley. On one world, however, she learns that a new technology threatens all worlds, including her own. The author creates some intriguing worlds: there’s one in which a world war dominates everything and another which, if readers spot a small hint, they might recognize as our own, adding a nice twist to the story. The suspense ratchets up as Marguerite begins to question Paul’s character when she meets different versions of him on different worlds, knowing that all are essentially the same person and positioning Marguerite for some unexpected moral choices. Although overlong, the book holds readers’ interest with drastic changes of scene as Marguerite jumps from world to world. Characters remain fairly shallow but accessible.

The inventiveness of the many worlds Marguerite traverses should keep fans happy. (Science fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-227899-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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

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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

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Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love.

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LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB

Finally, the intersectional, lesbian, historical teen novel so many readers have been waiting for.

Lily Hu has spent all her life in San Francisco’s Chinatown, keeping mostly to her Chinese American community both in and out of school. As she makes her way through her teen years in the 1950s, she starts growing apart from her childhood friends as her passion for rockets and space exploration grows—along with her curiosity about a few blocks in the city that her parents have warned her to avoid. A budding relationship develops with her first White friend, Kathleen, and together they sneak out to the Telegraph Club lesbian bar, where they begin to explore their sexuality as well as their relationship to each other. Lo’s lovely, realistic, and queer-positive tale is a slow burn, following Lily’s own gradual realization of her sexuality while she learns how to code-switch between being ostensibly heterosexual Chinatown Lily and lesbian Telegraph Bar Lily. In this meticulously researched title, Lo skillfully layers rich details, such as how Lily has to deal with microaggressions from gay and straight women alike and how all of Chinatown has to be careful of the insidious threat of McCarthyism. Actual events, such as Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s 1943 visit to San Francisco, form a backdrop to this story of a journey toward finding one’s authentic self.

Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love. (author’s note) (Historical romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-55525-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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