A high-stakes conclusion that satisfies.

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ANOTHER JEKYLL, ANOTHER HYDE

From the Another… series , Vol. 3

One of the Marlowe students finds his internal conflicts becoming all-too external, Jekyll-and-Hyde style, in the conclusion to the Another… series.

Following his sudden break-up with Belle Faust in Another Faust (2009), Thomas Goodman-Brown hasn't been the same. Everyone thinks him constantly intoxicated (without justification; it's only occasional), but really he's reeling from the after-effects of the magic the Faust children used on him. A combination of his presumed guilt and the strain of his father's marriage to the missing Belle's governess Nicola Vileroy leads to Thomas' acceptance of a mystery drug at a club. Soon, Thomas is blacking out, students are being attacked and Vileroy drops a bombshell: There's a new stepbrother for Thomas, apart from her adopted Faust children. With help from briefly returning Another Faust and Another Pan (2010) characters, Thomas slowly pieces together how his troubles tie into Vileroy's motives. The prose is peppered with delightfully witty one-liners—the humor goes a long way toward keeping Thomas likable. The narration mostly follows Thomas, creating a focus that both enables his believable disorientation from the drug and allows his personal risks to elevate the story's tension. The preludes at chapter beginnings complete the story of who and what Vileroy is, building upon each other until questions raised by the previous novels have been answered.

A high-stakes conclusion that satisfies. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: March 27, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5261-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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A seriously satisfying, worthy, and well-crafted sequel.

DEATHLESS DIVIDE

From the Dread Nation series , Vol. 2

Two young black women kick zombie ass from the post–Civil War East to the late-1800s American West. 

This sequel to Dread Nation (2018) is told from the perspectives of the irascible Jane McKeene and her unlikely best friend, Katherine Deveraux, after they escape the unholy hell of Summerland, a social science experiment run by a maniacal minister through which black people were forced to protect whites from attacks by throat-chomping, undead shamblers. Alternating between Jane’s haunted life with its Shakespearean overtones and Katherine’s more devout but no less deadly existence, each chapter takes readers farther west, with hopes resting on happy endings for the duo in California. The pacing is steady throughout the first part of the story, building and exploding into a gut-wrenching plot twist halfway through. Then it’s a glorious race to the finish, with compelling moral examinations of human experimentation and killing for hire to fuel reader interest. At its core the book delves into a spectrum of black girls’ and women’s experiences, kinship, and necessary resilience. That focus never strays even as Ireland touches briefly on social tensions between Native and black characters along with passing commentary on immigration and relations between Chinese families and other communities. The imaginative integration of real-world historical players into an equally messy, gruesome chronology artfully developed by the author makes this stand out.

A seriously satisfying, worthy, and well-crafted sequel. (author’s note) (Historical fiction/horror. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-257063-5

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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A richly satisfying, Poirot-like ending for Johnson’s inspired and inspiring teen sleuth.

THE HAND ON THE WALL

From the Truly Devious series , Vol. 3

The final, riveting chapter of the Truly Devious murder series.

The initial incident in the series involved the 1936 abduction of newspaper tycoon Albert Ellingham’s wife and daughter; the present volume probes several unsavory events that transpired afterward, including Ellingham’s own death in 1938, in a sailing accident on Lake Champlain, and the recent immolation of University of Vermont history professor and Ellingham mystery enthusiast Dr. Irene Fenton. Fenton was introduced to protagonist and contemporary “Ellingham Sherlock” Stevie Bell in The Vanishing Stair (2019). As Stevie gets closer to making good on her resolution to solve the Ellingham case’s past and present riddles, Johnson makes the most of the exclusive institution’s remote, wooded mountain locale, provocatively setting the climax of Stevie’s investigations during the throes of a cataclysmic blizzard. Stevie and her motley crew of misfit high school geniuses are stranded à la Agatha Christie with members of the Ellingham Academy administration, who may have a stake in the revelations of several secrets linking the Ellingham kidnappings with present-day murders. Throughout this intricately woven, fast-paced whodunit, Johnson demonstrates how proximity to wealth and power can mold and bend one’s behavior, whether with good or—here largely—devious intent. The brainy secondary characters' quirky talents and interests complement Stevie's sleuthing skills; while mostly white, they include diversity in socio-economic background, mental health challenges, physical disability, and sexual orientation.

A richly satisfying, Poirot-like ending for Johnson’s inspired and inspiring teen sleuth. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-233811-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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