Will please fans of the first.

RETURN OF THE CONTINUUMS

From the Continuum Trilogy series , Vol. 2

Following The 13th Continuum (2016), Myra and Aero (and friends) journey in search of the First Continuum.

Myra’s and Aero’s groups each landed farther from the First Continuum than they would have hoped, meaning they separately must traverse the barren planet with minimal resources. Myra’s group deals with dwindling supplies; Aero’s faces probes from the villainous Vinick, who wants their continuum’s Beacon back from Aero (and wants Aero dead). Chapters away from the two main protagonists show, along with glimpses of Vinick, a plotline of social upheaval on the 13th Continuum and introduce another point-of-view character, Seeker, from yet another continuum, the Seventh. This other one has fared even worse, suffering a radiation leak that led to a devolved, mutated population of cannibals. Myra and Aero’s dream meetings are impeded by a mysterious, looming darkness, then interrupted by Beacon damage. Though the writing frequently tells instead of showing (often in the form of thesaurus-scented adjectives: one woman has both “coquettish” smiles and “bawdy” laughter, and another’s skirts are described as “maudlin”), the pacing and action are noticeably stepped up in this second outing. The characters eventually join up, establishing a predictable love-triangle storyline, which never rings true. The ending sets up a new villain with unclear motivations.

Will please fans of the first. (Science fiction. 12-17)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68162-258-3

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Turner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel,...

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

From the Girl of Fire and Thorns series , Vol. 1

Adventure drags our heroine all over the map of fantasyland while giving her the opportunity to use her smarts.

Elisa—Princess Lucero-Elisa de Riqueza of Orovalle—has been chosen for Service since the day she was born, when a beam of holy light put a Godstone in her navel. She's a devout reader of holy books and is well-versed in the military strategy text Belleza Guerra, but she has been kept in ignorance of world affairs. With no warning, this fat, self-loathing princess is married off to a distant king and is embroiled in political and spiritual intrigue. War is coming, and perhaps only Elisa's Godstone—and knowledge from the Belleza Guerra—can save them. Elisa uses her untried strategic knowledge to always-good effect. With a character so smart that she doesn't have much to learn, body size is stereotypically substituted for character development. Elisa’s "mountainous" body shrivels away when she spends a month on forced march eating rat, and thus she is a better person. Still, it's wonderfully refreshing to see a heroine using her brain to win a war rather than strapping on a sword and charging into battle.

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel, reminiscent of Naomi Kritzer's Fires of the Faithful (2002), keeps this entry fresh. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-202648-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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A lushly written story with an intriguing heart.

ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART

From the Once Upon a Broken Heart series , Vol. 1

After praying to a Fate for help, Evangeline discovers the dangerous world of magic.

When her father passes away, Evangeline is left with her cold stepmother and kind but distant stepsister, Marisol. Despite inheriting a steady trust in magic, belief in her late mother’s homeland of the mystical North (where fantastical creatures live), and philosophy of hope for the future, her dreams are dashed when Luc, her love, pledges to marry Marisol instead. Evangeline desperately prays to the Prince of Hearts, a dangerous and fickle Fate famed for his heart that is waiting to be revived by his one true love—and his potentially lethal kisses. The bargain they strike sends her on a dark and magical journey throughout the land. The writing style fluctuates from clever and original to overly verbose and often confusing in its jumble of senses. While the pervasive magic and concept of the Fates as a religious system add interest, other fantasy elements are haphazardly incorporated without enough time devoted to building a cohesive world. However, the themes of love, the power of story, family influence, and holding onto belief are well rounded and add depth. The plot contains welcome surprises, and the large cast piques curiosity; readers will wish more time was spent getting to know them. Evangeline has rose-gold hair and, like other main characters, reads as White; there is diversity among the fantasy races in this world.

A lushly written story with an intriguing heart. (map) (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-26839-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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