DARKFALL

From the Healing Wars series , Vol. 3

In this final installment of The Healing Wars series, warrior Nya desperately searches for her missing sister while fighting to preserve her heritage even as the Duke of Baseer prepares to invade Geveg.

Fifteen-year-old Nya, her sweetheart Danello and compatriots in the underground resistance hide on a farm after Nya destroys the Duke’s palace in Baseer by flashing pain. Notorious for her unique ability to shift and push pain, Nya secretly returns to Geveg hoping to find her sister, Tali. When a corps of Undying, the Duke’s mindless soldiers trained to endure and inflict pain, attack Nya, Tali is among them. Devastated to discover her alien, brainwashed sister, Nya fears Tali will never be the same. With the Duke’s forces approaching, Nya’s reputation as a fighter rallies Geveg’s embattled citizens, who embrace her as the leader they desperately need. Tempted to take Tali and flee, Nya can’t deny her heritage and, with help from her friends and allies, reluctantly prepares to defend her city. A conflicted, complex heroine to the end, Nya anguishes over the potential pain and death she will trigger to preserve what she loves. Though lacking some of the punch and rapid-fire excitement of the first two volumes, the finale offers suspense, resolution of prior wrongs, the sweetness of first love and a battle-tested heroine who fights with her head and heart. (Fantasy. 10-16)

 

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-174750-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end.

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 1

Riggs spins a gothic tale of strangely gifted children and the monsters that pursue them from a set of eerie, old trick photographs.

The brutal murder of his grandfather and a glimpse of a man with a mouth full of tentacles prompts months of nightmares and psychotherapy for 15-year-old Jacob, followed by a visit to a remote Welsh island where, his grandfather had always claimed, there lived children who could fly, lift boulders and display like weird abilities. The stories turn out to be true—but Jacob discovers that he has unwittingly exposed the sheltered “peculiar spirits” (of which he turns out to be one) and their werefalcon protector to a murderous hollowgast and its shape-changing servant wight. The interspersed photographs—gathered at flea markets and from collectors—nearly all seem to have been created in the late 19th or early 20th centuries and generally feature stone-faced figures, mostly children, in inscrutable costumes and situations. They are seen floating in the air, posing with a disreputable-looking Santa, covered in bees, dressed in rags and kneeling on a bomb, among other surreal images. Though Jacob’s overdeveloped back story gives the tale a slow start, the pictures add an eldritch element from the early going, and along with creepy bad guys, the author tucks in suspenseful chases and splashes of gore as he goes. He also whirls a major storm, flying bullets and a time loop into a wild climax that leaves Jacob poised for the sequel.

A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end. (Horror/fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: June 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59474-476-1

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2014

Did you like this book?

A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula.

HOCUS POCUS AND THE ALL-NEW SEQUEL

In honor of its 25th anniversary, a Disney Halloween horror/comedy film gets a sequel to go with its original novelization.

Three Salem witches hanged in 1693 for stealing a child’s life force are revived in 1993 when 16-year-old new kid Max completes a spell by lighting a magical candle (which has to be kindled by a virgin to work). Max and dazzling, popular classmate Allison have to keep said witches at bay until dawn to save all of the local children from a similar fate. Fast-forward to 2018: Poppy, daughter of Max and Allison, inadvertently works a spell that sends her parents and an aunt to hell in exchange for the gleeful witches. With help from her best friend, Travis, and classmate Isabella, on whom she has a major crush, Poppy has only hours to keep the weird sisters from working more evil. The witches, each daffier than the last, supply most of the comedy as well as plenty of menace but end up back in the infernal regions. There’s also a talking cat, a talking dog, a gaggle of costumed heroines, and an oblique reference to a certain beloved Halloween movie. Traditional Disney wholesomeness is spiced, not soured, by occasional innuendo and a big twist in the sequel. Poppy and her family are white, while Travis and Isabella are both African-American.

A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula. (Fantasy. 10-15)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-02003-9

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Freeform/Disney

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more