THE ACCURSED INHERITANCE OF HENRIETTA ACHILLES

From the House Divided series , Vol. 1

An entertaining adventure.

Orphan Henrietta Achilles inherits a magical house in this action-packed graphic novel.

A war 9 years ago left Henrietta an orphan, so she’s surprised when Renault, a gentleman in a top hat, takes her on a carriage ride to the mysterious town of Malrenard. She learns she’s the last living relative of an uncle she never met—and he’s died and left her an estate with treasure allegedly hidden all over the house. Upon arriving, Henrietta quickly gets pulled into a battle with two groups racing to search for a secret vault hidden inside the house. Cannons boom and swords flash, and dashing blond bandit Nate Flemming and his crew come to Henrietta’s rescue. Humor abounds with witty banter, quiche thievery, alienlike creatures riding giant rats, and unexpectedly helpful stone statues that give either directions or riddles. Henrietta’s hesitant to share that she’s the owner of the estate—and when she’s captured by the rival crew, they laugh at her and lock her in a cupboard. The plot is heavy with setup and brief introductions to numerous characters, laying the foundation for the mysteries of the estate to be revealed in future installments. Pawlitza’s breathtaking illustrations of the skyscraper-sized house will delight while darker, claustrophobic scenes provide a nice emotional balance. Renault is black, and the majority of the cast appears to be white.

An entertaining adventure. (quiche recipe) (Graphic fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7243-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: Jan. 6, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

MACBETH

From the Wordplay Shakespeare series

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced...

A pairing of the text of the Scottish Play with a filmed performance, designed with the Shakespeare novice in mind.

The left side of the screen of this enhanced e-book contains a full version of Macbeth, while the right side includes a performance of the dialogue shown (approximately 20 lines’ worth per page). This granular focus allows newcomers to experience the nuances of the play, which is rich in irony, hidden intentions and sudden shifts in emotional temperature. The set and costuming are deliberately simple: The background is white, and Macbeth’s “armor” is a leather jacket. But nobody’s dumbing down their performances. Francesca Faridany is particularly good as a tightly coiled Lady Macbeth; Raphael Nash-Thompson gives his roles as the drunken porter and a witch a garrulousness that carries an entertainingly sinister edge. The presentation is not without its hiccups. Matching the video on the right with the text on the left means routinely cutting off dramatic moments; at one point, users have to swipe to see and read the second half of a scene’s closing couplet—presumably an easy fix. A “tap to translate” button on each page puts the text into plain English, but the pop-up text covers up Shakespeare’s original, denying any attempts at comparison; moreover, the translation mainly redefines more obscure words, suggesting that smaller pop-ups for individual terms might be more meaningful.

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced e-book makes the play appealing and graspable to students . (Enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: The New Book Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

ALWAYS HUMAN

A warm, sweet, lovely tale of a world readers will want to live in.

In a not-so-distant future where changing one’s physical features is as easy as purchasing nanobot mods, Sunati falls for Austen, a girl who always looks the same.

Since Austen never changes, Sunati admires what she assumes is her bravery and confidence. As Sunati and Austen chat more, Austen bluntly asks Sunati if she only wants to get to know her more because of her medical condition, which prevents her from using mods. As they gradually grow closer, Sunati learns how to interact more respectfully with those who have overactive immune systems as well as to share her feelings more honestly. Austen, in turn, learns to trust Sunati. This beautifully illustrated slice-of-life tale that shows two young women of color getting to know each other and creating a relationship is so warm and charming that readers will hardly notice how much they are learning about how to better interact with folx who are different from themselves and the importance of not making assumptions. The story also successfully weaves in agender, genderfluid, and asexual characters as well as the subjects of parenting and colorism into the natural arc of Sunati and Austen’s developing story. The soft, romantic artwork evokes hazy watercolors. The speech bubbles are predominantly pink and blue, and the varied layout will maintain readers’ interest.

A warm, sweet, lovely tale of a world readers will want to live in. (Graphic romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1110-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Close Quickview