From the Nightstruck series , Vol. 1

A solidly creepy start to a promising series, with a wildly frustrating cliffhanger.

The streets of Philadelphia are filled with terror once night falls.

Becket and her father live together in Center City, Philadelphia, her mother having left a few months ago. They are making do as best they can, but her father's job as police commissioner keeps him away from home an awful lot, especially with what’s going on now. People are disappearing, but there are also tales of strange sights and creepy creatures. Soon a citywide curfew keeps people locked inside at night while the nightmarish beings known as the Nightstruck wander the streets and wreak havoc. Becket is cooped up with her dreamy next-door neighbor while she worries about her father and best friend, who went off into the night and returned distressingly changed. Black neatly establishes a creepy sense of dread, but at times the scope is too claustrophobic. Becket and her father keep hearing about absurd, crazy things, but readers don’t get to see them as much as they might like. Becket is a typical teen-lit gal (presumptively white, pretty without knowing it, smart, introverted), but the circumstances and her headstrong reactions to them bring readers in. Black pulls off some horrific set pieces, and there's a great hook for a larger mystery, but, as this is a series opener, the story's narrative and emotional arcs just plain stop.

A solidly creepy start to a promising series, with a wildly frustrating cliffhanger. (Thriller. 14-17)

Pub Date: April 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7653-8004-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Tor Teen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2016


Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017



Angels and devils fight grim wars across the five boroughs.

Fans of A Touch Mortal (2011) are advised to reread before they pick up this sequel, as none of the myriad plot threads— some involving delusional, amnesiac or otherwise unreliable narrators—are revisited for forgetful readers. Instead, volume two leads right into a tangle of names: Eden is living with Az and Jarrod, who works with Zach and befriends Sullivan, and all of them distrust Madeline and hide from Luke while seeking Gabe and ignoring Kristen's worsening mental illness... Somewhere in all of this is a paranormal adventure. Eden and allies are mostly Siders, living undead who remain immortal and forgotten after their suicides. Eden and her beloved Az (the angel Azazel, caught in a limbo between heaven and hell) are seeking Gabe, Az's best friend and the angel who Fell at the conclusion of this series' first volume. Inexplicable politics between Eden and the other Sider leaders prevents them from banding together against a common enemy: Luke, otherwise known as Lucifer. As if that weren't bad enough, Heaven's involved now, and neither celestial nor infernal forces seem to be looking out for the best interest of the Siders. Eden has her hands full keeping Az from Falling the rest of the way to hell, seeking Gabe and hiding her own deterioration.

Chaotic . (Paranormal romance. 14-16)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-200502-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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