Speculative fiction with a “family values" spin.

RESIST

From the Remake series , Vol. 2

After surviving a harrowing accident with his beloved Nine, Theron has been Remade and is home to recover and begin his chosen Trade as a Healer. But Nine is gone—she isn’t coming back, and no amount of cage fighting or buzz drinks can fill the emptiness in his life.

Though he’s favored by Eridian, the Prime Maker running Freedom 1, it’s only because she hopes he can lure “free-breaker” Nine back under her control. If that hope fades, Eri will certainly let Bron, one of the Seekers who enforce her will, tear him apart, and even his fighting skills aren’t going to help against the law. Theron drinks and fights his way through life, though he’s finding some contentment as a Healer in the trauma station. When he saves a man called Catcher, he kicks off a chain of events that makes his little life impossible to sustain. The concept of Family, though alien to Theron, inspires a rebel force that’s going to take Freedom 1 and stop the dark, horrible secrets that lurk under the city. In this sequel to Remake (2014), Todd writes a cinematically drawn, well-paced story set in the South Pacific. A major arc involving richly written Pacific Islanders breaks up the relentless whiteness of Freedom 1, and there are a number of well-rounded disabled characters, including Theron. Given this sensitivity to diversity, the heteronormativity and gender binary roles repeatedly reinforced as “good” versus the gender-fluid “evil” of Freedom 1 and Eridian are sour notes that restrict this book’s audience.

Speculative fiction with a “family values" spin. (Dystopia. 12-18)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62972-104-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

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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