A relevant read for the youthquake generation. (Dystopian romance. 12-adult)

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MINDSTORMER

From the Mindwalker series , Vol. 2

Can an uprising continue when one of its public faces has her memories altered to believe it’s terrorism?

In this sequel to Mindwalker (2015), Lain, now 18, wakes up in a white-walled room with no memory of how she got there. Soon, unfamiliar people in holomasks, claiming to be her allies, come to rescue her. The truth emerges: Dr. Swan, Lain’s guardian, wiped her memories so she would forget the atrocities his organization, IFEN, committed. After taking a pill to restore those memories, Lain escapes to the Citadel, the Canadian stronghold of the Blackcoats, a majority-teen resistance group. There, as Lain learns more about government-sanctioned IFEN’s illegal experiments and the Blackcoats’ plans for catalyzing political upheaval through violence, Lain questions which group really has the best interests of the United Republic of America at heart. Is freedom “the easy choice” or “a contract signed in blood?” Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Hunger Games, this plot-driven, romance-laden tale of youth empowerment will surely please genre fans. Though characters remain on the extreme side, Steiger (When My Heart Joins the Thousand, 2018, etc.) better develops the sequel’s dystopian United States and more deeply interrogates the systems of oppression it uses to isolate its citizens based on mental health. The cast assumes a white default. The Blackcoats’ leader, Zebra, uses a wheelchair but is rarely seen.

A relevant read for the youthquake generation. (Dystopian romance. 12-adult)

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-7807-4926-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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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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