A notable new series for teens and adventure lovers.



Follow the adventures of two teens as they are inducted into a magical society and fight against a dark force.

Our heroes are two teens—shy, older sister, Maya, and her cocky, impulsive brother, Thomas. After their father dies mysteriously and their mother falls gravely ill, the family stays in Paris with a mysterious benefactor named Uncle D., who reveals that he had a special relationship with the teen’s father and offers to teach them an ancient magical art known as the Arakad. Soon after the training begins, Arakad masters across the world are discovered violently murdered. A rival gang called the Thaalung Clan has harnessed the power of the Arakad for evil purposes. Uncle D. must train his new students while fending off the forces of the Thaalung. An epic battle ensues that will crisscross Europe and involve a mysteriously addictive energy drink. The success or failure of this sort of story, particularly in the minds of young readers, depends almost entirely on how interesting the magic is. The best novels create detailed and even plausible descriptions of magical powers. Look at the way Harry Potter treated wizardry for a high-water mark. While not quite up to that standard, the Arakad is an interesting and entertaining mix of religion, mythology and sorcery. This book is the first in what is likely a multivolume series, and the groundwork has been laid for a satisfyingly epic story. In this first volume, as many questions are raised as answered. Wolf does have a weakness for New Age-inflected platitudes that even young readers will find cheesy, but these do little to detract from the momentum of the plot. Wolf has also taken the step of enhancing the book with online content that helps broaden the universe of the Arakad and further invest readers in the characters. If this standard of ambition and skill continues, the Arakad novels could make for a stellar new YA series.

A notable new series for teens and adventure lovers.

Pub Date: April 20, 2012

ISBN: 978-1470169022

Page Count: 260

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2012

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Wrought with admirable skill—the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly...


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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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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