WE HEAR THE DEAD

This unusual historical romance deals with a compelling subject: the true story of the infamous Fox sisters, who inadvertently began the spiritualist movement in 1848. Despite her book’s length, Salerni easily holds reader interest as she describes, usually from Maggie’s point of view, the inner workings of the Fox sisters’ deception. As Maggie confessed in 1888, they produced loud rapping “spirit” sounds primarily through cracking their ankle and toe joints. The author focuses her story first on Maggie’s conflicted feelings about her fraud, then on her romance with the famous Arctic explorer Elisha Kane, while depicting societal norms of the time through the difficulties of their unequal relationship. Ironically, history remembers Maggie Fox, while Kane, highly celebrated in his day, has been forgotten. The research is excellent, and the author displays a facility for fluid prose even as she writes in a modified archaic style that lends credence to the first-person conceit of the novel. Although the book’s length may discourage some readers, those caught in the story will enjoy it. A promising debut. (Historical fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4022-3092-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2010

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Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.

CHAIN OF GOLD

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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ECLIPSE

From the Twilight series , Vol. 3

It’s the countdown to graduation and immortality for Bella, since the events of New Moon (2006) have convinced boyfriend Edward to let her join him in vampirism. While Bella desires only to leave this mortal coil, Edward wants her to try college and marriage first. Bella knows that becoming a vampire will forever sever her ties to best friend Jake, who’s a werewolf and therefore an ancient racial enemy of all things vampiric. Luckily—and predictably—a gathering of bloodthirsty, vengeful vampires is headed straight for Bella. To protect her, the vegetarians of Edward’s vamp coven need to stop trading racial epithets with the werewolves and work with them, instead. Bella wants the villains to be defeated so she can return to her everyday life of high school, anticipating immortality and fighting Edward’s determination to avoid premarital sex. Unsettling racially charged characterizations are offset by messages of overcoming difference and working together. Fans of Bella’s angst-drenched love triangle will gobble this entry up, and the open-ended conclusion paves the way for Jake’s story to come. (Fantasy. YA)

None None

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-16020-9

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Megan Tingley/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

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