The characters are mere flat sketches, but with a magical circus girl who escapes from chains while dangling from a burning...

READ REVIEW

GIRL IN THE SHADOWS

The daughter of a famous Las Vegas magician wants an illusionist career of her own more than she wants to go to college.

Moira's stage magician dad is adamant that his 18-year-old daughter will never be on the stage, so she runs away to join the circus. At the Cirque American (which also hosted the companion novel Girl on a Wire, 2015), Moira begins as a lowly midway performer. Her escape artistry, practiced in secret and never tested before an audience, must be stellar before she'll be invited to perform in the big top. Luckily for Moira, her tricks are astounding—with the added spice of a newly discovered talent for magic. From tarot-reading Nan, Moira learns of the Praestigae: the semimagical traveling con artists whence Moira herself must have originated, presumably through her long-lost mother. Lo and behold, a pale-skinned redhead who looks much like Moira herself arrives on cue at the Cirque American, issuing dire warnings for Moira to abandon her magic. But without magic, can Moira continue to add difficulty to her escalating hair-raising escapes? Can she save the requisite tanned and pretty bad boy, with his eyes that "flash like pennies tossed into the air," from his own demons?

The characters are mere flat sketches, but with a magical circus girl who escapes from chains while dangling from a burning rope off a Ferris wheel, does it matter? (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5039-5393-2

Page Count: 412

Publisher: Skyscape

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A purple page turner.

CLOCKWORK PRINCE

From the Infernal Devices series , Vol. 2

This sequel to Clockwork Angel (2010) pits gorgeous, attractively broken teens against a menacing evil.

There's betrayal, mayhem and clockwork monstrosities, and the Shadowhunters have only two weeks to discover—oh, who are we kidding? The plot is only surprisingly tasty icing on this cupcake of a melodramatic love triangle. Our heroes are Tessa, who may or may not be a warlock, and the beautiful Shadowhunter warrior boys who are moths to her forbidden flame. It's not always clear why Tessa prefers Will to his beloved (and only) friend Jem, the dying, silver-eyed, biracial sweetheart with the face of an angel. Jem, after all, is gentle and kind, her dearest confidante; Will is unpleasant to everyone around him. But poor, wretched Will—who "would have been pretty if he had not been so tall and so muscular"—has a deep, dark, thoroughly emo secret. His trauma puts all previous romantic difficulties to shame, from the Capulet/Montague feud all the way to Edward Cullen's desire to chomp on Bella Swan. Somehow there's room for an interesting steampunk mystery amid all this angst. The supporting characters (unusually well-developed for a love-triangle romance) include multiple compelling young women who show strength in myriad ways. So what if there are anachronisms, character inconsistencies and weird tonal slips? There's too much overwrought fun to care.

A purple page turner. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7588-5

Page Count: 528

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Though it’s a bit of a slog, readers of Book 1 will find it worth the time for its unexpected conclusion

THE SHADOW'S CURSE

A lost prince and his ladylove must defeat the tyrant rampaging over the steppes with an army of enslaved spirits in this sequel to The Oathbreaker’s Shadow (2015).

Raim is haunted by the spirit of his best friend, Khareh—a spirit that appeared when Raim accidentally broke an oath made by another, leaving him magically marked and exiled from his nomadic tribe as an oathbreaker. Khareh yet lives, but with the best part of himself lost in the spirit, his ambition has become megalomania. Not content to be khan of his tribe alone, Khareh aims to join all the northern nomads into one massive khanate. Raim seeks control over his spirit but also yearns to rescue Wadi, the dark-skinned desert girl to whom he's given his heart. Wadi is Khareh's captive, and she is more than capable of freeing herself from the cruel young khan; nevertheless she must stay a captive. It's her destiny to make a king of Raim, she learns from a blind seer in one of the stalest tropes of superpowered disability. Raim, Khareh, and Wadi travel all over the steppes of Darhan, giving a solid glimpse of this fantasy world roughly based on the lives of Mongolian nomads. A dense narrative of tiny chapters with shifting points of view leaves little time to become invested in each character's journey.

Though it’s a bit of a slog, readers of Book 1 will find it worth the time for its unexpected conclusion . (Fantasy. 13-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7387-4512-1

Page Count: 456

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more