Adventurous, heartbreaking, and undoubtedly open-ended.



From the Call of the Rift series , Vol. 2

The fiercely complex and compelling sequel to Waller’s fantasy debut, Flight (2018).

Following the devastating Blackbird Battle at the end of the previous installment, protagonist Kateiko has returned to the Rin-jouyen, the oldest and smallest tribe of the Aikoto Confederacy, which currently resides with the Iyo, the largest, on their settlement in Toel Ginu. Kateiko’s journey is far from over—she seeks to find more information on Suriel, an air spirit desperately trying to open a rift into the void dividing worlds, who has suddenly disappeared. Kateiko works furiously with her people and itheran (immigrant) allies to hunt down the human mages working for Suriel, but past mistakes haunt her while newer choices lead to disastrous consequences for both her and those she cares for. Having left her first unrequited love, Tiernan, she secretly agrees to marry Fendul, her childhood friend and Okorebai-Rin, to help rebuild their jouyen. But her heart calls to charming Iyo drummer Airedain, who, despite his promiscuous reputation, makes her feel something more. Fans will be reengaged by Waller’s war-torn worldbuilding and original characterization. Action is abundant, and expositional dumps are rare throughout, but a review of the first book is recommended for clarity, particularly regarding language, cultural nuances, and notable magical elements. Racial diversity is generalized, with Indigenous peoples having brown skin and itherans being white.

Adventurous, heartbreaking, and undoubtedly open-ended. (map) (Fantasy. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77041-457-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: ECW Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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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

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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

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