Clichés aside, it’s an enjoyable, if totally undemanding read for sci-fi–starved audiences.

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THE PLANET THIEVES

Eighteen cadets stand between the terrifying Tremist fleet and the annihilation of Earth!

In the year 2800, 13-year-old orphan Mason Stark and the other cadets are logging time in space during summer break on a routine mission when the ship, the SS Egypt, is attacked by Tremists, aliens that have been waging war with humankind for decades over the habitable planet Nori-Blue. Naturally, the cadets escape capture and try to save their acting captain, Susan Stark, Mason’s older sister. What they find is that the Egypt was carrying a gate, a device capable of making a wormhole big enough to move a planet to a new part of space, and that Earth Space Command was planning to use it to move Nori-Blue into our sun’s orbit to keep it out of the clutches of the Tremists. The Tremists steal the gate…and then use it to steal the Earth! Can Mason and his friends rescue Susan and the whole of the Earth? And what secrets does Nori-Blue harbor that can change the trajectory of the human–Tremist relationship? With a total disregard for the laws of physics and nearly every other science, Krokos kicks off a series of sci-fi adventures with this overstuffed, nonstop adventure that harkens back to pulpy space operas. Far too many plot points tangle a narrative chock-full of one-dimensional characters who excel far too easily at the heroics they must perform.

Clichés aside, it’s an enjoyable, if totally undemanding read for sci-fi–starved audiences. (Science fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 21, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7653-3428-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the...

TUCK EVERLASTING

At a time when death has become an acceptable, even voguish subject in children's fiction, Natalie Babbitt comes through with a stylistic gem about living forever. 

Protected Winnie, the ten-year-old heroine, is not immortal, but when she comes upon young Jesse Tuck drinking from a secret spring in her parents' woods, she finds herself involved with a family who, having innocently drunk the same water some 87 years earlier, haven't aged a moment since. Though the mood is delicate, there is no lack of action, with the Tucks (previously suspected of witchcraft) now pursued for kidnapping Winnie; Mae Tuck, the middle aged mother, striking and killing a stranger who is onto their secret and would sell the water; and Winnie taking Mae's place in prison so that the Tucks can get away before she is hanged from the neck until....? Though Babbitt makes the family a sad one, most of their reasons for discontent are circumstantial and there isn't a great deal of wisdom to be gleaned from their fate or Winnie's decision not to share it. 

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the first week in August when this takes place to "the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning") help to justify the extravagant early assertion that had the secret about to be revealed been known at the time of the action, the very earth "would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin." (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1975

ISBN: 0312369816

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1975

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This can’t be the last we ever hear of the Legendary Alston Boys of the purely surreal Logan County—imaginative,...

THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER

From the Legendary Alston Boys series , Vol. 1

Can this really be the first time readers meet the Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County? Cousins and veteran sleuths Otto and Sheed Alston show us that we are the ones who are late to their greatness.

These two black boys are coming to terms with the end of their brave, heroic summer at Grandma’s, with a return to school just right around the corner. They’ve already got two keys to the city, but the rival Epic Ellisons—twin sisters Wiki and Leen—are steadily gaining celebrity across Logan County, Virginia, and have in hand their third key to the city. No way summer can end like this! These young people are powerful, courageous, experienced adventurers molded through their heroic commitment to discipline and deduction. They’ve got their shared, lifesaving maneuvers committed to memory (printed in a helpful appendix) and ready to save any day. Save the day they must, as a mysterious, bendy gentleman and an oversized, clingy platypus have been unleashed on the city of Fry, and all the residents and their belongings seem to be frozen in time and place. Will they be able to solve this one? With total mastery, Giles creates in Logan County an exuberant vortex of weirdness, where the commonplace sits cheek by jowl with the utterly fantastic, and populates it with memorable characters who more than live up to their setting.

This can’t be the last we ever hear of the Legendary Alston Boys of the purely surreal Logan County—imaginative, thrill-seeking readers, this is a series to look out for. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-46083-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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