DEEPLIGHT

Monsters and mortals collide in this fantasy adventure that explores the hypnotic allure of fear, the adamant grip of the past, and the redeeming power of stories.

For centuries, the islanders of the Myriad revered the murderous, terrifying gods who rose from the Undersea. Now, the gods are 30 years gone, and divers who dare to retrieve scraps of their magical remains can make a fortune—if they can get past the governor’s men. Fourteen-year-old Hark is an orphan who ekes out a living by spinning tall tales to gullible prospects while dreaming of a brighter future. Hark’s best friend, Jelt, has always been his fierce protector. But Jelt is also manipulative, abusive, and dangerous. Just as new possibilities open up for Hark, Jelt coerces him into another reckless scheme in which Jelt nearly drowns. Hark finds a mysterious pulsing relic and uses it to save Jelt, unleashing catastrophic consequences. Hardinge (A Skinful of Shadows, 2017, etc.) conjures up an atmospheric world peopled with sinister smugglers and a stubborn scientist, artful urchins and armed fanatics, ravenous gods and wretched priests. The unhurried opening soon escalates into cinematic action and a thrilling climax. The many pleasures of this tale include a range of extraordinary female characters and sensitive and respectful depictions of deaf people and hearing signers. Humans in this world vary in skin tone, but race has no significance; there are few physical descriptors for the main characters.

Spellbinding. (Fantasy. 12-adult)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4320-7

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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

THE CRUEL PRINCE

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

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