Desperate, suspenseful action in a nightmarish scenario.

A rebuilt veteran of the seventh war and his son struggle to survive in a world that is being systematically swept of human life by robots.

Chomichuk really stacks the deck against Londoners Barry and his dad, Kerion. On the one hand, robots have built a paradise where every store is always fully stocked, every home kept clean and maintained, and all traffic runs automatically. But something has gone wrong in the software, and even the slightest unusual use of electricity or facilities quickly draws squads of armed robotic exterminators called autovolts. The two fugitives have only survived this long because Kerion was massively wounded in combat and so much of his repaired body is prosthetic that he can get close enough to a confused would-be executioner to jack in and fry its circuits. It’s plainly just a matter of time, though, before they’re cornered—and time at last runs out. Dark images of shadowy electronica and human figures too distant or distorted to discern faces or skin color add grim atmospheric notes to a dystopic tale which, being framed in one- to seven-page episodes, has a shocked, staccato feel. Narrowly escaping a particularly persistent pursuer, Kerion at last leads his son away from the city in hopes of finding a place where, as he puts it, “the future never happened.” Good luck with that.

Desperate, suspenseful action in a nightmarish scenario. (Illustrated fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77337-040-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Yellow Dog

Review Posted Online: Feb. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020


Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy.

A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives.

In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother’s losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clichéd tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world.

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-85743-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023


A dark and gripping feminist tale.

A young woman faces her past to discover the truth about one of her nation’s heroes.

When Effy Sayre, the only female architecture student at her university in Llyr, wins the competition to design Hiraeth Manor for the estate of the late Emrys Myrddin, national literary figure and her favorite author, it is the perfect opportunity to leave behind a recent trauma. She arrives to find the cliffside estate is literally crumbling into the ocean, and she quickly realizes things may not be as they seem. Preston, an arrogant literature student, is also working at the estate, gathering materials for the university’s archives and questioning everything Effy knows about Myrddin. When Preston offers to include her name on his thesis—which may allow her to pursue the dream of studying literature that was frustrated by the university’s refusal to admit women literature students—Effy agrees to help him. He’s on a quest for answers about the source of Myrddin’s most famous work, Angharad, a romance about a cruel Fairy King who marries a mortal woman. Meanwhile, Myrddin’s son has secrets of his own. Preston and Effy start to suspect that Myrddin’s fairy tales may hold more truth than they realize. The Welsh-inspired setting is impressively atmospheric, and while some of the mythology ends up feeling extraneous, the worldbuilding is immersive and thoughtfully addresses misogyny and its effects on how history is written. Main characters are cued white.

A dark and gripping feminist tale. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023

ISBN: 9780063211506

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023

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