A compelling if derivative supernatural teen romance.

PHOENIX ANGEL

SHARDWELL SERIES BOOK 1

In a young-adult paranormal romance, four teenagers develop strange powers—and the reason why is more incredible than they could possibly imagine.

This debut from sisters Gerry and Hall begins with Maggie Brooks and Lily Ivers, best friends since they were babies. Lily is popular and outgoing, but a high school romance gone seriously awry has turned Maggie into a cynical loner. The arrival of Kyle Spencer changes things: When Kyle and Maggie first lock eyes, they feel their worlds turn upside down. For Maggie, it isn’t a pleasant feeling. On top of her conflicted feelings for Kyle, she starts to read and even manipulate people’s thoughts. Kyle, for his part, develops superhuman strength. Lily at first resigns herself to being a good sidekick, mediating between her two hot-headed friends and acting happy with her normal-as-apple-pie boyfriend, Mark Weston. But when a band of werewolves attacks the girls one winter night, Lily’s powers of magical healing emerge. Then Carter Drake shows up in town. He’s a ne’er-do-well East Coast preppie who, after having been thrown out by his family, feels drawn to Idaho Falls, of all places. He quickly realizes what drew him there—Lily—but their romance is complicated by Kyle’s irrational hatred. Fighting with Kyle, however, brings out Carter’s secret power: an armor of light. Up to this point, the book is a standard if well-plotted story of high school angst with supernatural trappings; yet the final quarter veers in another direction altogether, as the foursome are beset by enemies from another world who reveal that the kids are each reborn participants in an as-yet-unclear dynastic feud. Twilight, it seems, has suddenly gone Game of Thrones. There are deaths, rebirths and betrayal. By the end, three of our heroes are on the road with Mark, fleeing an apocalyptic high school explosion the likes of which have not been seen since the 1999 Sunnydale High graduation in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The authors’ depiction of joy and cruelty in high school rings true, and the hints of a darker reality will leave readers with the best kind of cliff-hanger.

A compelling if derivative supernatural teen romance.

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-0615589497

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Scribes of Shardwell, LLC

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2012

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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