A lush, captivating blend of The Phantom of the Opera and fresh, new magic.

READ REVIEW

WHERE DREAMS DESCEND

From the Kingdom of Cards series , Vol. 1

In a world where men dominate the stage, Kallia is determined to win a magicians’ contest.

Kallia is the showgirl magician star at Hellfire House, descending each night from a chandelier and inspiring awe in patrons. It’s the only home she’s known; she was left in the cursed Dire Woods as a baby. Club master Jack favors her above all others and acts as her mentor. Despite this, Kallia feels called to Glorian, the city beyond the cursed woods surrounding them, where she’s learned of a competition for magicians. Jack won’t hear of it, but when Kallia discovers he has been lying to her, she can no longer stomach staying put. She arrives in a city that’s colder and less friendly than she’d imagined and barely makes it into the competition. Soon she’s a controversial star, wowing the audience and inspiring ire in the judges in equal measure. But as her confidence grows, so does her fear of Jack’s returning and taking all of it away. When horrible things begin to befall competitors, Kallia’s caught in the middle. Glorian is awash with stunning scenery and spectacle, and Kallia enchants as a flawed and fiery lead, armed with tricks and witty banter. As the romantic tension ratchets up, so deepen the mysteries. Readers will ache for the next installment. Most characters seem to be White; Kallia is brown skinned.

A lush, captivating blend of The Phantom of the Opera and fresh, new magic. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-20435-6

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A gripping revenge story with enough twists to avoid becoming formulaic.

LORE

To get revenge for her family’s murder seven years ago, Lore must reenter a deadly contest from her past.

Leaving the conflict of gods and their hunters behind, Lore thought she had forged a new life. However, the Agon has begun again and brought with it an injured Athena, who promises her revenge on the one who ordered her family killed—in exchange for an oath binding their fates together. Lore must hunt down the god once known as Aristos Kadmou, with the catch that she only has eight days. Also, failure means the deaths of both Lore and Athena. Depictions of graphic violence and discussions of sexual assault are frequent, creating a tale as violent and unforgiving as its source material, albeit narrated through a feminist lens. Much like the heroes of ancient epics, Lore is a morally ambiguous but ultimately likable character, struggling to eliminate the monsters of her world while not falling into the brutality of her youth. She is contrasted with the idealistic Castor, her childhood friend and love interest, with whom she has plenty of chemistry. Bracken builds a rich world around a skeleton of ancient Greek mythology that is perfect to read on a dull weekend and sure to delight readers. Most main characters are cued as White; there are two men of color, both gay.

A gripping revenge story with enough twists to avoid becoming formulaic. (cast of characters) (Fantasy. 16-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4847-7820-3

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

more