Fans will enjoy slaking their thirst for more vampire adventures here

SECOND CHANCE

From the Slayer Chronicles series , Vol. 2

After his failed freelance slaying mission in Bathory (First Kill, 2011), Joss is under the watchful eye of the Slayer Society as he leads the hunt for a serial killer in Manhattan.

Hitting the vampire underworld of New York, Joss sets out on what he thinks is the right trail when he initially targets Em, the oldest vampire in existence. After some misdirection, Joss finally tracks down and stakes the vampire responsible for the serial killings—but the murders don't stop. Searching for the other killers, the slayer team starts rebelling against the strict authority structure of the Slayer Society and takes a new approach to hunting their prey. Still very much working within "companion" mode, Brewer skillfully inserts references to the Vladimir Tod series without making the story inaccessible to new readers from a plot standpoint. Tiresome characters compete with the action a bit too much throughout the narrative, with Joss’ Uncle Abraham and his monologues about trust and betrayal particularly difficult to take. However, Joss is well-done when he’s not dreaming, and fellow slayers Morgan and Ash are both welcome presences. Solid staking action keeps the pages turning, at least when Joss isn’t dwelling in guilt over his sister’s death.

Fans will enjoy slaking their thirst for more vampire adventures here . (Horror. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3760-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

Characters to love, quips to snort at, insights to ponder: typical Spinelli.

DEAD WEDNESDAY

For two teenagers, a small town’s annual cautionary ritual becomes both a life- and a death-changing experience.

On the second Wednesday in June, every eighth grader in Amber Springs, Pennsylvania, gets a black shirt, the name and picture of a teen killed the previous year through reckless behavior—and the silent treatment from everyone in town. Like many of his classmates, shy, self-conscious Robbie “Worm” Tarnauer has been looking forward to Dead Wed as a day for cutting loose rather than sober reflection…until he finds himself talking to a strange girl or, as she would have it, “spectral maiden,” only he can see or touch. Becca Finch is as surprised and confused as Worm, only remembering losing control of her car on an icy slope that past Christmas Eve. But being (or having been, anyway) a more outgoing sort, she sees their encounter as a sign that she’s got a mission. What follows, in a long conversational ramble through town and beyond, is a day at once ordinary yet rich in discovery and self-discovery—not just for Worm, but for Becca too, with a climactic twist that leaves both ready, or readier, for whatever may come next. Spinelli shines at setting a tongue-in-cheek tone for a tale with serious underpinnings, and as in Stargirl (2000), readers will be swept into the relationship that develops between this adolescent odd couple. Characters follow a White default.

Characters to love, quips to snort at, insights to ponder: typical Spinelli. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-30667-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more