This zombie-esque sci-fi novel will feed the needs of readers looking for a fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping story with...

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THE RAINS

From the Rains Brothers series , Vol. 1

The alien-zombie mashup that science-fiction fans won’t want to miss.

When Asteroid 9918 Darwinia lands in the small town of Creek’s Cause, it spells major trouble for 15-year-old Chance Rain and his 17-year-old brother, Patrick. For starters, all the adults have turned into zombielike parasitic hosts. What’s worse? The alien spores from the asteroid will eventually infect all the children on their 18th birthdays. For some, 18 is years off, but for others, like Patrick, it’s only days away. And so begins a race against the clock as Chance tries to save Patrick from a grisly fate. The novel’s filmlike storytelling tactics don’t always translate well to book form, and the numerous chapter cliffhangers make the writing seem repetitive and predictable; however, the novel’s ultimate cliffhanger ending is a satisfying conclusion of intrigue and suspense and will leave readers wanting more. Chance’s and Patrick’s physical descriptions are limited to height and stature, making their race indeterminable. Alex, a major character and Patrick’s girlfriend, is a blond, white girl and a feminist force to be reckoned with. Racial and ethnic diversity reflected in very minor characters feels tacked on.

This zombie-esque sci-fi novel will feed the needs of readers looking for a fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping story with elements of horror. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7653-8267-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Tor Teen

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.

CHAIN OF GOLD

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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