Some readers will enjoy it, especially those with little experience in the genre. It’s all been done, better. (Supernatural...

ETERNAL

From the Immortal series , Vol. 3

This third book in Shield’s continuing supernatural series (Immortal, 2009, etc.) can feed the needs only of those who crave 100-percent full gothic fiction.

With good and evil witches’ covens, an ancient Stonehenge-like circle, a magically sealed attic room, an abbey turned school and romance both natural and supernatural, the author does her best to include every convention of the genre. This book focuses on Sarah, a part-gypsy–turned-lady student and member of the good witches’ coven, who struggles to keep the group together when best friend Evie tries to bow out. The main bad witch, thought vanquished in the previous installment, returns to wreak havoc. Havoc includes, in the most imaginative portion of the book, tempting Sarah into mysterious caves where gnomelike underground rock creatures can capture her and hold her forever. Gothic conventions continue as riders gallop wildly across the moors, ghosts appear when summoned and every kiss equals an out-of-body experience. Place names typically include y’s or double f’s or both, as in “Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies,” the novel’s setting. Emotions, romances and dramatic situations turn on and off with the sudden intensity of a melodramatic silent movie from the 19-teens, a scenario also called to mind by much of the dialogue.

Some readers will enjoy it, especially those with little experience in the genre. It’s all been done, better. (Supernatural romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-200039-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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Star-crossed lovers carve their own paths in an explosive conclusion that lives up to its title.

OUR VIOLENT ENDS

From the These Violent Delights series , Vol. 2

New monsters terrorize Shanghai amid political upheaval and the reignition of the blood feud between the Chinese Scarlet Gang and the Russian White Flowers.

The death of Marshall Seo unleashed a new wave of violence, but when a mysterious figure wielding control over more deadly-insect–releasing monsters begins extorting money from both gangs, their leaders agree to temporarily cooperate in the interests of eliminating a mutual foe. They order their respective heirs to find the blackmailer, and so, once again, Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai must work together for the benefit of those under their protection. But their feelings for each other—complicated by hidden truths, lingering love, and unforgiving duty—prove difficult to repress. Meanwhile, the time of revolution draws near: Workers continue to organize protests decrying both foreign occupation and gangster rule as the Nationalist Army marches toward Shanghai in its campaign to unite and reclaim the country. Secrets abound and loyalties are tested in this tightly plotted sequel featuring a multinational cast and told through multiple third-person perspectives, including those of supporting characters introduced in These Violent Delights (2020). Stubborn Rosalind, obliging Kathleen, and grief-stricken Benedikt all return to play vital roles that blend seamlessly into Roma’s and Juliette’s storylines as they each are forced to consider what it is they truly want and the lengths they will go to protect it.

Star-crossed lovers carve their own paths in an explosive conclusion that lives up to its title. (Historical fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-534-45772-0

Page Count: 512

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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Fans of empowering feminist fairy-tale retellings will love this.

THE GRIMROSE GIRLS

From the Grimrose Girls series , Vol. 1

Four reimagined fairy-tale heroines must confront their inner demons to break a curse.

Ella, Yuki, and Rory attend the prestigious Grimrose Académie for Elite Students in the Swiss Alps. They are currently grieving the death of one of their best friends, and while Ari’s death by drowning has been deemed either an accident or suicide, her closest friends have their doubts. When they find an old book of fairy tales hidden in Ari’s things, full of strange annotations in her handwriting, the girls start working—along with new student Nani—to investigate Ari’s suspicious death. As they put together the pieces and discover other deaths that happened at Grimrose, they start to wonder if there was magic involved in Ari’s death—magic that may also be at the core of their very lives, cursing them to unhappy endings. Grief, identity, and friendship intersect in this enthralling mystery with dark magical undertones that ingeniously plays with fairy-tale tropes to tell a feminist story about empowerment and grappling with how to break away from the confines of societal expectations of girls. Reminiscent of the works of Anna-Marie McLemore and Elana K. Arnold, this book ends with the promise of more to come. The main cast is queer and features diversity in disability and mental health. Rory and Ella default to White; Yuki’s name cues her as Japanese, and Nani is Black and Native Hawaiian.

Fans of empowering feminist fairy-tale retellings will love this. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72822-887-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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