A satisfying conclusion to a flawed but often fantastically entertaining trilogy.

Revelation

From the Legacy Trilogy series , Vol. 3

In Kane’s (Prophecy, 2015, etc.) final installment of the Legacy trilogy, a teenage girl puts her life on the line to try to destroy a sinister company that produces powerful, mood-altering drugs.

It’s been 75 days since a secretive man named Quin McAllister left the San Francisco Bay Area and Lex Knightley’s life. Government authorities have instituted curfews and set up checkpoints to crack down on the consumption of “emotion-altering medications,” or EAMs. The newest, most dangerous EAM is Onyx, which causes aggressive behavior and has led to an explosion of gang violence on San Francisco’s foggy streets. Meanwhile, Lex has been hiding a fugitive Resistance leader-turned-drug czar named Augustus Porter, despite her hatred of him, as she hopes to obtain insider information that will help bring down EAM manufacturer Zenigenic and its ruthless, power-hungry CEO, Xander Steele. When Quin abruptly returns and teams up with Zenigenic as a spokesman for a new medication designed to make the world kinder, Lex knows there must be more to this strange alliance than meets the eye. Lex, with the help of some friends—including her intrepid reporter father and the somewhat untrustworthy Augustus—hopes to fulfill the wishes of her deceased mother, a Zenigenic psychiatrist who regretted her prominent role in the creation of EAMs. She plans to do so by solving the mystery and exposing the corporation’s dirty deeds once and for all. Kane throws readers right into the deep end without wasting any time recapping previous novels in the series. Fortunately, readers will likely find that her vividly detailed world and complex characters have lingered with them since Prophecy (2015). Lex has developed and matured a great deal since readers met her in Legacy (2014), though she still occasionally feels like a Mary Sue—a little too perfect to be real. The book is at its best when it focuses on the tragic psychological fallout from EAM usage, and at its worst when it focuses on Lex and Quin’s dull romance; they lack the spark to stand out from every other star-crossed dystopian duo. The book’s frenetic climax, set at the iconic Bay Bridge, will leave readers breathless and wanting more from Kane and her fictional world.

A satisfying conclusion to a flawed but often fantastically entertaining trilogy.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4575-4402-6

Page Count: 276

Publisher: Dog Ear

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2016

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The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with...

SUMMER ISLAND

Talk-show queen takes tumble as millions jeer.

Nora Bridges is a wildly popular radio spokesperson for family-first virtues, but her loyal listeners don't know that she walked out on her husband and teenaged daughters years ago and didn't look back. Now that a former lover has sold racy pix of naked Nora and horny himself to a national tabloid, her estranged daughter Ruby, an unsuccessful stand-up comic in Los Angeles, has been approached to pen a tell-all. Greedy for the fat fee she's been promised, Ruby agrees and heads for the San Juan Islands, eager to get reacquainted with the mom she plans to betray. Once in the family homestead, nasty Ruby alternately sulks and glares at her mother, who is temporarily wheelchair-bound as a result of a post-scandal car crash. Uncaring, Ruby begins writing her side of the story when she's not strolling on the beach with former sweetheart Dean Sloan, the son of wealthy socialites who basically ignored him and his gay brother Eric. Eric, now dying of cancer and also in a wheelchair, has returned to the island. This dismal threesome catch up on old times, recalling their childhood idylls on the island. After Ruby's perfect big sister Caroline shows up, there's another round of heartfelt talk. Nora gradually reveals the truth about her unloving husband and her late father's alcoholism, which led her to seek the approval of others at the cost of her own peace of mind. And so on. Ruby is aghast to discover that she doesn't know everything after all, but Dean offers her subdued comfort. Happy endings await almost everyone—except for readers of this nobly preachy snifflefest.

The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with syrupy platitudes about life and love.

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-609-60737-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

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THE VANISHING HALF

Inseparable identical twin sisters ditch home together, and then one decides to vanish.

The talented Bennett fuels her fiction with secrets—first in her lauded debut, The Mothers (2016), and now in the assured and magnetic story of the Vignes sisters, light-skinned women parked on opposite sides of the color line. Desiree, the “fidgety twin,” and Stella, “a smart, careful girl,” make their break from stultifying rural Mallard, Louisiana, becoming 16-year-old runaways in 1954 New Orleans. The novel opens 14 years later as Desiree, fleeing a violent marriage in D.C., returns home with a different relative: her 8-year-old daughter, Jude. The gossips are agog: “In Mallard, nobody married dark....Marrying a dark man and dragging his blueblack child all over town was one step too far.” Desiree's decision seals Jude’s misery in this “colorstruck” place and propels a new generation of flight: Jude escapes on a track scholarship to UCLA. Tending bar as a side job in Beverly Hills, she catches a glimpse of her mother’s doppelgänger. Stella, ensconced in White society, is shedding her fur coat. Jude, so Black that strangers routinely stare, is unrecognizable to her aunt. All this is expertly paced, unfurling before the book is half finished; a reader can guess what is coming. Bennett is deeply engaged in the unknowability of other people and the scourge of colorism. The scene in which Stella adopts her White persona is a tour de force of doubling and confusion. It calls up Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the book's 50-year-old antecedent. Bennett's novel plays with its characters' nagging feelings of being incomplete—for the twins without each other; for Jude’s boyfriend, Reese, who is trans and seeks surgery; for their friend Barry, who performs in drag as Bianca. Bennett keeps all these plot threads thrumming and her social commentary crisp. In the second half, Jude spars with her cousin Kennedy, Stella's daughter, a spoiled actress.

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53629-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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