A riveting entry in an environmentally aware YA series.

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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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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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Impressive world-building, breathtaking action and clear philosophical concerns make this volume, the beginning of a planned...

THE HUNGER GAMES

From the Hunger Games series , Vol. 1

Katniss Everdeen is a survivor.

She has to be; she’s representing her District, number 12, in the 74th Hunger Games in the Capitol, the heart of Panem, a new land that rose from the ruins of a post-apocalyptic North America. To punish citizens for an early rebellion, the rulers require each district to provide one girl and one boy, 24 in all, to fight like gladiators in a futuristic arena. The event is broadcast like reality TV, and the winner returns with wealth for his or her district. With clear inspiration from Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and the Greek tale of Theseus, Collins has created a brilliantly imagined dystopia, where the Capitol is rich and the rest of the country is kept in abject poverty, where the poor battle to the death for the amusement of the rich. However, poor copyediting in the first printing will distract careful readers—a crying shame. [Note: Errors have been corrected in subsequent printings, so we are now pleased to apply the Kirkus star.]

Impressive world-building, breathtaking action and clear philosophical concerns make this volume, the beginning of a planned trilogy, as good as The Giver and more exciting. (Science fiction. 11 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-439-02348-1

Page Count: 394

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2008

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