From the W.A.R.P. series , Vol. 2

Undoing the catastrophically altered present wrought in The Reluctant Assassin (2013) requires further immersion (not just figuratively) in Victorian London’s noxious stews for teenage, time-traveling special agent Chevron Savano.

Mad Col. Clayton Box has founded a nearly worldwide ecclesiastical police state in the 19th century with 20th-century troops and weaponry transported back in time. In order to nip this in the bud, Chevie plunges once again through a wormhole into the great, filthy city’s thick miasmas and cobbled mean streets. Along with describing with indecent relish the fetid slums and sewers in which most of the action takes place, Colfer outfits Chevie with a Dickensian supporting cast. It’s led by Riley, a street child trained up as an assassin, and larger-than-life crime lord Otto Malarkey, among others. The plot consists of a quick and, usually, violent series of escapades that culminates in an assault on Box’s underground fortress. The bad guys are both clever and heavily armed, and there’s much casual murder and wading through hip-deep rivers of raw sewage, along with gunfire, massive explosions and unlikely romance. Time travel makes the future a fluid reality, but it looks like it may be saved at the end, though some strings remain to be tied up—or further tangled—in upcoming sequels. Chevie is of Shawnee lineage, leading her confederates to make the occasional, unfortunate “Injun” reference, alas. A grand yarn told with a wink and kitted out with high stakes and broadly drawn characters for maximum fun. (Science fiction. 11-14)


Pub Date: June 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-6163-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes


From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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From the Lorien Legacies series , Vol. 1

If it were a Golden Age comic, this tale of ridiculous science, space dogs and humanoid aliens with flashlights in their hands might not be bad. Alas... Number Four is a fugitive from the planet Lorien, which is sloppily described as both "hundreds of lightyears away" and "billions of miles away." Along with eight other children and their caretakers, Number Four escaped from the Mogadorian invasion of Lorien ten years ago. Now the nine children are scattered on Earth, hiding. Luckily and fairly nonsensically, the planet's Elders cast a charm on them so they could only be killed in numerical order, but children one through three are dead, and Number Four is next. Too bad he's finally gained a friend and a girlfriend and doesn't want to run. At least his newly developing alien powers means there will be screen-ready combat and explosions. Perhaps most idiotic, "author" Pittacus Lore is a character in this fiction—but the first-person narrator is someone else entirely. Maybe this is a natural extension of lightly hidden actual author James Frey's drive to fictionalize his life, but literature it ain't. (Science fiction. 11-13)



Pub Date: Aug. 17, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-06-196955-3

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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