In spite of a few flaws, readers will eagerly await the next installment.


From the Taken series , Vol. 1

Debut author Bowman takes readers on a suspenseful trek through a dystopian landscape.

Gray has reached the age of 17 in a primitive town that’s defined by what happens to boys on their 18th birthdays: They are Heisted away, never to return. Gray is frustrated by the community’s calm, resigned acceptance of the boys’ shocking fate, so after his brother Blaine’s Heist, he determines to go over the massive wall that contains the town to search for the explanation for their grim existence. Unexpectedly, his almost-a-girlfriend Emma follows him. On the other side of the wall, they are both captured—or possibly befriended—by the Franconian Order, which runs the modern, water-starved city of Taem. The story they are told is quickly contradicted by other information they discover, leading to the pressing need to identify possible helpers who might oppose the brutal followers of Frank or the rebels (including attractive Bree) who operate outside the city. The story is told in Gray’s first-person narration, with occasional conveniently found documents to supplement back story that he can’t provide. While suspense is often palpable, other times, plot elements don’t fully add up—the Heists are conducted with helicopters (that no one sees because they’ve been drugged), and Emma remains safe but unfaithful in Taem after Gray escapes—diminishing the impact for discerning readers.

In spite of a few flaws, readers will eagerly await the next installment. (Dystopian adventure. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 16, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-211726-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 20

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.


From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?