For readers who like their ancient Irish legends larded with mean girls.

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DECEPTION'S PAWN

From the Princesses of Myth series , Vol. 2

A fiery Irish princess determined to make her own life decisions has trouble keeping her heart, and her men, in line in this overheated sequel to Deception’s Princess (2014).

Glad to be free of her beloved but manipulative father, High King Eochu, at last, Maeve joins a trio of fosterlings in neighboring Dún Beithe, where, along with meeting hunky Kian, son of the local lord, she is reunited with her adored kestrel, Ea. Besides briskly staving off blushing, smitten Kian and the much more aggressive Conchobar, the young king of the Ulaidh, Maeve faces a hard challenge in Bryg, a clever new foster child who nurses a deep grudge against her and orchestrates a campaign of not-so-petty torment. Except for a sojourn to meet Odran, her crush from the previous episode, this vicious little war takes up the story’s heart. Maeve isn’t exactly a model heroine, as she demonstrates by sneaking off to Odran after twice swearing to stay and endure her foster sisters’ bullying and then concocting a lie that she had been stolen by the Fair Folk to cover her absence. Also, as hinted in her uncritical acceptance at the end of scheming Eochu’s gift of part of his kingdom (and acknowledged in the tale’s title), she’s not the brightest bulb. Well, she’s a dab hand at sharp repartee and generally tries to be kind to her social inferiors.

For readers who like their ancient Irish legends larded with mean girls. (pronunciation guide) (Historical fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-449-81867-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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

LEGEND

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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A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end.

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 1

Riggs spins a gothic tale of strangely gifted children and the monsters that pursue them from a set of eerie, old trick photographs.

The brutal murder of his grandfather and a glimpse of a man with a mouth full of tentacles prompts months of nightmares and psychotherapy for 15-year-old Jacob, followed by a visit to a remote Welsh island where, his grandfather had always claimed, there lived children who could fly, lift boulders and display like weird abilities. The stories turn out to be true—but Jacob discovers that he has unwittingly exposed the sheltered “peculiar spirits” (of which he turns out to be one) and their werefalcon protector to a murderous hollowgast and its shape-changing servant wight. The interspersed photographs—gathered at flea markets and from collectors—nearly all seem to have been created in the late 19th or early 20th centuries and generally feature stone-faced figures, mostly children, in inscrutable costumes and situations. They are seen floating in the air, posing with a disreputable-looking Santa, covered in bees, dressed in rags and kneeling on a bomb, among other surreal images. Though Jacob’s overdeveloped back story gives the tale a slow start, the pictures add an eldritch element from the early going, and along with creepy bad guys, the author tucks in suspenseful chases and splashes of gore as he goes. He also whirls a major storm, flying bullets and a time loop into a wild climax that leaves Jacob poised for the sequel.

A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end. (Horror/fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: June 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59474-476-1

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2014

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