Serviceable and fun, a basic dystopian novel that delivers action but no original punch.

THE BETWEEN

A young woman traverses a space-time continuum to rescue her best friend and secure the future of seven worlds.

When Ana Moon and Bea Gold get into a fight that lands their school bully in the hospital, the two are forbidden to see each other. Ignoring their parents, the London teens meet on the Tube, where they are distracted from their conversation by the appearance of a stranger; handsome Malik Habib can’t keep his eyes off Ana. Suddenly the train crashes, time freezes, and Ana watches her best friend get snatched away by rotten-smelling, winged creatures called Reapers. Then everything starts spinning, Ana falls, and suddenly she is on a quest through the seven earths that make up Hofmeyr’s (Stone Rider, 2015) multiverse: Lūna, Bahram, Hermes, Jöve, Venetia, Kronos, and her own Earth, Sol. She is joined by Malik, Vidhan Blue, and Akuji Na, all of whom are Pathfinders, world-jumping guardians of hidden gateways from one world to the next, like her. An amalgam of various dystopian tropes, the exciting, fast-paced, though sometimes confusing action sequences fill in where the plot and language are a bit stale and dated (Akuji’s androgynous appearance leaves Ana surprised that she should be referred to as “she”). Ana is white, Bea is Jewish and white, and there is diversity throughout the cast.

Serviceable and fun, a basic dystopian novel that delivers action but no original punch. (Dystopian adventure. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-385-74475-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

SCYTHE

From the Arc of a Scythe series , Vol. 1

Two teens train to be society-sanctioned killers in an otherwise immortal world.

On post-mortal Earth, humans live long (if not particularly passionate) lives without fear of disease, aging, or accidents. Operating independently of the governing AI (called the Thunderhead since it evolved from the cloud), scythes rely on 10 commandments, quotas, and their own moral codes to glean the population. After challenging Hon. Scythe Faraday, 16-year-olds Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova reluctantly become his apprentices. Subjected to killcraft training, exposed to numerous executions, and discouraged from becoming allies or lovers, the two find themselves engaged in a fatal competition but equally determined to fight corruption and cruelty. The vivid and often violent action unfolds slowly, anchored in complex worldbuilding and propelled by political machinations and existential musings. Scythes’ journal entries accompany Rowan’s and Citra’s dual and dueling narratives, revealing both personal struggles and societal problems. The futuristic post–2042 MidMerican world is both dystopia and utopia, free of fear, unexpected death, and blatant racism—multiracial main characters discuss their diverse ethnic percentages rather than purity—but also lacking creativity, emotion, and purpose. Elegant and elegiac, brooding but imbued with gallows humor, Shusterman’s dark tale thrusts realistic, likable teens into a surreal situation and raises deep philosophic questions.

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7242-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

This story is necessary. This story is important.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 46

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    finalist

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

more