An intriguing read that sets genre fans up neatly for its sequel.

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MINDWALKER

A girl living in a dystopic future United States divided into castes has the ability to enter other people’s brains and erase selected memories.

Lain, 17, may still be in high school, but her future career as a Mindwalker seems set, and it’s exactly what she wants to do with the rest of her life. At school she meets Steven, an odd boy designated Type Four and required to wear a collar that monitors his bodily functions and tranquilizes him if he becomes violent. Lain, deliberately walking in her late father’s footsteps, truly believes she provides a necessary psychological service by eradicating painful memories. When Steven, the victim of atrocious child abuse, asks her to erase his memories illegally, she reluctantly agrees. When Lain learns that her activities have been detected, however, she must choose between her longed-for career and escape to Canada. Meanwhile, she finds herself far too attracted to Steven, a boy with whom she could not possibly have a future. Steiger creates extreme but mostly believable characters and a vivid future world with just enough familiar elements to lend it credence. Although some of the drama hinges on a standard mad-scientist plot rather than the dystopia within which he operates, on the whole the book manages to balance plot with thought-provoking contemplation about what makes personalities complete.

An intriguing read that sets genre fans up neatly for its sequel. (Dystopian romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-49713-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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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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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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