A riveting entry in an environmentally aware YA series.

Corr Syl the Terrible

In this sequel to Corr Syl the Warrior (2013), Rogers’ (Arizona Wildlife Notebook, 2013, etc.) hero takes on East Asian militants to save his best friend.

Still reeling from the violence of his first mission as a warrior, Corr Syl returns to his family in the Wycliff District. He’s a member of the ancient Tsaeb race, all of whom are descended from various animals and capable of living harmoniously with the Earth. Corr and his friend Rhya Bright are descended from rabbits and can use their fur as camouflage and think in multiple “thoughtstreams.” As they travel to the Continental Center to work on human psychochemistry research, agents of Ya Zhou, the Imperial Minister of the Taoso nation, capture Rhya. Her duplicitous traveling partner, the lynx-descended Able Remington, facilitates the kidnapping, which will lead to a confrontation between Corr and Zhou—and with his warrior training and advanced senses, Corr is prepared for the challenge. He heads after Rhya in the miraculous IOZ-1899 airship, a Tsaeb creation that interacts with a pilot’s mind. However, Zhou has teamed up with the foul Lactella, a power-mad black widow from the previous novel whose venom allows her to control human hosts. Corr must not only save his friend, but prevent Zhou from raising an army that could dominate the world. In the slim second volume of Rogers’ YA series, he continues to develop his idea that humans should emulate animals, who live better within the bounds of nature, in order to ensure the prosperity of all life on Earth. The author doesn’t mince words on this subject; for example, Ryha mentions helping “humans overcome their mental limitations.” Environmental awareness remains at the plot’s forefront, as when Zhou serves water that is found to be a “stew of lead, arsenic, antibiotics, and hormone disrupters.” Most intriguing, though, is when Rogers merges science fiction with animal facts; Tsaeb warriors hold a discussion, for instance, by “using projected scents, sounds, movements, and thoughts, the electromagnetic fluxes generated by brain and body.” Swift pacing and an action-oriented plot quickly conclude this second Corr adventure, although not before setting up an intriguing third.

A riveting entry in an environmentally aware YA series.

Pub Date: April 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5116-9407-0

Page Count: 132

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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What should feel epic and romantic winds up dull and uninspired.

A THOUSAND HEARTBEATS

Star-crossed lovers are on opposing sides of an impending war.

Annika, the princess of Kadier, believes in the love of fairy tales but knows it’s not in her future since her father demanded she marry to secure a political alliance. Not too far from their kingdom, there is a growing army of those who believe Kadier rightfully belonged to their ancestors, and they plan to reclaim it. When stoic, hardened soldier Lennox is given the opportunity to prove himself, he makes a plan to sneak into the kingdom. Neither Annika nor Lennox is prepared for the ways their lives and those of everyone around them will forever be changed upon their meeting. They start as enemies, but their hearts have other ideas, and soon their love is impossible to ignore. This stand-alone fantasy romance shifts between the two protagonists’ points of view, giving readers access to the interior lives of both. Patience is required, as the tale is slow to start; it finds its footing eventually, but readers may find it to be too little, too late. Much of the narrative feels bloated with story yet hollow in characterization and emotional depth. Even moments meant to evoke big emotions, like important deaths or grand romantic gestures, wind up falling flat since there’s not enough substance to give them weight. Characters are assumed White.

What should feel epic and romantic winds up dull and uninspired. (map) (Fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-266578-2

Page Count: 576

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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Wrought with admirable skill—the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly...

THE GIVER

From the Giver Quartet series , Vol. 1

In a radical departure from her realistic fiction and comic chronicles of Anastasia, Lowry creates a chilling, tightly controlled future society where all controversy, pain, and choice have been expunged, each childhood year has its privileges and responsibilities, and family members are selected for compatibility.

As Jonas approaches the "Ceremony of Twelve," he wonders what his adult "Assignment" will be. Father, a "Nurturer," cares for "newchildren"; Mother works in the "Department of Justice"; but Jonas's admitted talents suggest no particular calling. In the event, he is named "Receiver," to replace an Elder with a unique function: holding the community's memories—painful, troubling, or prone to lead (like love) to disorder; the Elder ("The Giver") now begins to transfer these memories to Jonas. The process is deeply disturbing; for the first time, Jonas learns about ordinary things like color, the sun, snow, and mountains, as well as love, war, and death: the ceremony known as "release" is revealed to be murder. Horrified, Jonas plots escape to "Elsewhere," a step he believes will return the memories to all the people, but his timing is upset by a decision to release a newchild he has come to love. Ill-equipped, Jonas sets out with the baby on a desperate journey whose enigmatic conclusion resonates with allegory: Jonas may be a Christ figure, but the contrasts here with Christian symbols are also intriguing.

Wrought with admirable skill—the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 1, 1993

ISBN: 978-0-395-64566-6

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1993

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