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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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Bound to be popular.

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES

From the Ember in the Ashes series , Vol. 1

A suddenly trendy trope—conflict and romance between members of conquering and enslaved races—enlivened by fantasy elements loosely drawn from Arabic tradition (another trend!).

In an original, well-constructed fantasy world (barring some lazy naming), the Scholars have lived under Martial rule for 500 years, downtrodden and in many cases enslaved. Scholar Laia has spent a lifetime hiding her connection to the Resistance—her parents were its leaders—but when her grandparents are killed and her brother’s captured by Masks, the eerie, silver-faced elite soldiers of the Martial Empire, Laia must go undercover as a slave to the terrifying Commandant of Blackcliff Military Academy, where Martials are trained for battle. Meanwhile, Elias, the Commandant’s not-at-all-beloved son, wants to run away from Blackcliff, until he is named an Aspirant for the throne by the mysterious red-eyed Augurs. Predictably, action, intrigue, bloodshed and some pounding pulses follow; there’s betrayal and a potential love triangle or two as well. Sometimes-lackluster prose and a slight overreliance on certain kinds of sexual violence as a threat only slightly diminish the appeal created by familiar (but not predictable) characters and a truly engaging if not fully fleshed-out fantasy world.

Bound to be popular. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: April 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-59514-803-2

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015

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