Concluding the duology, this ingeniously plotted time twister deepens the narrative, sharpens characterization, and raises...

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THE SHIP BEYOND TIME

From the Girl from Everywhere series , Vol. 2

Her white, widowed father, Slate, having failed to remake the past, has abdicated; mixed-race Nix Song now captains the Temptation, Navigating through time to mapped destinations, real and otherwise, in this sequel to The Girl from Everywhere (2016).

Joined by Blake, a young, white cartographer who supports the Hawaiian monarchy, they depart 1884 Hawaii for modern New York. Realizing Nix and Kashmir (the Persian boy they rescued years earlier) are in love, Slate tells Nix that her grandmother, Joss, a Chinese Navigator and seer, has seen Kash will be lost at sea—but that past and future can sometimes be changed. In New York, a strange woman gives Nix a map of Ys, a mythical island city off the coast of Brittany. With the map, dated 1637, is a letter inviting her to visit Ys that asserts the past can indeed be changed. Buoyed by hope, the seekers sail to Ys, their quest to protect Kash, restore Nix’s mother (who died in childbirth), and save the Hawaiian monarchy. This genre-busting series—neither fantasy-romance nor historical fiction in disguise—offers an original take on a classic conundrum: if we can change the past, delete death and loss from life and love, what will it cost—and who pays? Nix’s narrative voice reveals a complicated protagonist who moves between trenchant pragmatism and poetic flights with fluidity. Although some plotlines are resolved, others are left, tantalizingly and frustratingly, hanging.

Concluding the duology, this ingeniously plotted time twister deepens the narrative, sharpens characterization, and raises the stakes, leaving readers high and dry, wanting more . (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Greenwillow

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 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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A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning.

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SCYTHE

From the Arc of a Scythe series , Vol. 1

Two teens train to be society-sanctioned killers in an otherwise immortal world.

On post-mortal Earth, humans live long (if not particularly passionate) lives without fear of disease, aging, or accidents. Operating independently of the governing AI (called the Thunderhead since it evolved from the cloud), scythes rely on 10 commandments, quotas, and their own moral codes to glean the population. After challenging Hon. Scythe Faraday, 16-year-olds Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova reluctantly become his apprentices. Subjected to killcraft training, exposed to numerous executions, and discouraged from becoming allies or lovers, the two find themselves engaged in a fatal competition but equally determined to fight corruption and cruelty. The vivid and often violent action unfolds slowly, anchored in complex worldbuilding and propelled by political machinations and existential musings. Scythes’ journal entries accompany Rowan’s and Citra’s dual and dueling narratives, revealing both personal struggles and societal problems. The futuristic post–2042 MidMerican world is both dystopia and utopia, free of fear, unexpected death, and blatant racism—multiracial main characters discuss their diverse ethnic percentages rather than purity—but also lacking creativity, emotion, and purpose. Elegant and elegiac, brooding but imbued with gallows humor, Shusterman’s dark tale thrusts realistic, likable teens into a surreal situation and raises deep philosophic questions.

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7242-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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