An intricately lush and well-crafted new fantasy that deserves (and demands) a sequel.



From the Call of the Rift series , Vol. 1

In Waller’s stunning debut, a young woman is forced to choose between love and duty.

Kateiko, tan-skinned with light-brown hair, is an antayul (water-caller) of the Rin-jouyen, the oldest of the Indigenous peoples of the Aikoto Confederacy. Their small numbers mean her list of potential husbands is limited until she turns 18 and can marry outside of her jouyen. Hoping to do just that—and to escape haunting visions of what Rin elders believe is the Aeldu-yan (spirit world)—she treks southward to the Iyo-jouyen. A deadly encounter during her travels with soldiers of the itheran, or foreign settlers, leads her to Tiernan, a jinrayul (fire-caller) and ex-mercenary, also tanned and brown-haired, who takes her into his home. When the Suriel—a not-so-dormant air spirit—suddenly attacks the colonists, war is declared, more political schisms erupt, and Kateiko and Tiernan find themselves engulfed in chaos. Waller’s worldbuilding is beautiful and lavish, her alternate history rich and complex (thank saidu for the backmatter), and even her characters’ profanities are colorful. Kateiko’s relationships with far older men are disconcerting (at 18 her virginity is lost in a consensual encounter with someone over twice her age) yet she remains in control throughout. Readers will admire the fierce strength which drives her coming-of-age journey.

An intricately lush and well-crafted new fantasy that deserves (and demands) a sequel. (glossary, timeline, maps) (Fantasy. 15-adult)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77041-354-2

Page Count: 360

Publisher: ECW Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Green seamlessly bridges the gap between the present and the existential, and readers will need more than one box of tissues...


He’s in remission from the osteosarcoma that took one of his legs. She’s fighting the brown fluid in her lungs caused by tumors. Both know that their time is limited.

Sparks fly when Hazel Grace Lancaster spies Augustus “Gus” Waters checking her out across the room in a group-therapy session for teens living with cancer. He’s a gorgeous, confident, intelligent amputee who always loses video games because he tries to save everyone. She’s smart, snarky and 16; she goes to community college and jokingly calls Peter Van Houten, the author of her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, her only friend besides her parents. He asks her over, and they swap novels. He agrees to read the Van Houten and she agrees to read his—based on his favorite bloodbath-filled video game. The two become connected at the hip, and what follows is a smartly crafted intellectual explosion of a romance. From their trip to Amsterdam to meet the reclusive Van Houten to their hilariously flirty repartee, readers will swoon on nearly every page. Green’s signature style shines: His carefully structured dialogue and razor-sharp characters brim with genuine intellect, humor and desire. He takes on Big Questions that might feel heavy-handed in the words of any other author: What do oblivion and living mean? Then he deftly parries them with humor: “My nostalgia is so extreme that I am capable of missing a swing my butt never actually touched.” Dog-earing of pages will no doubt ensue.

Green seamlessly bridges the gap between the present and the existential, and readers will need more than one box of tissues to make it through Hazel and Gus’ poignant journey. (Fiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-525-47881-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

Only marginally intriguing.


In a remote part of Utah, in a “temple of excellence,” the best of the best are recruited to nurture their talents.

Redemption Preparatory is a cross between the Vatican and a top-secret research facility: The school is rooted in Christian ideology (but very few students are Christian), Mass is compulsory, cameras capture everything, and “maintenance” workers carry Tasers. When talented poet Emma disappears, three students, distrusting of the school administration, launch their own investigation. Brilliant chemist Neesha believes Emma has run away to avoid taking the heat for the duo’s illegal drug enterprise. Her boyfriend, an athlete called Aiden, naturally wants to find her. Evan, a chess prodigy who relies on patterns and has difficulty processing social signals, believes he knows Emma better than anyone. While the school is an insidious character on its own and the big reveal is slightly psychologically disturbing, Evan’s positioning as a tragic hero with an uncertain fate—which is connected to his stalking of Emma (even before her disappearance)—is far more unsettling. The ’90s setting provides the backdrop for tongue-in-cheek technological references but doesn’t do anything for the plot. Student testimonials and voice-to-text transcripts punctuate the three-way third-person narration that alternates among Neesha, Evan, and Aiden. Emma, Aiden, and Evan are assumed to be white; Neesha is Indian. Students are from all over the world, including Asia and the Middle East.

Only marginally intriguing. (Mystery. 15-18)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-266203-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet