Marred by filler, pacing issues, and predictability.

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THE UNITED CONTINUUMS

From the Continuum Trilogy series , Vol. 3

Myra, Aero, and Seeker must unite their continuums against the hostile Fourth Continuum in this trilogy closer.

A quick recap refreshes readers’ memories on both the world and how the heroes ended up cornered in the First Continuum by the Second Continuum’s forces. The three Carriers must decide how to manage the demands of Cmdr. Drakken and the Fourth Continuum, the hostages taken by the Second, and the oxygen drain plaguing the Thirteenth (a slow storyline disjointed from the main action). While not the most immediate threat, the Fourth is the greatest, as they want the secrets of the Doom. Separating, Aero returns to his continuum, the Second, to sway them against the cartoonishly angry Supreme General; Seeker returns to the Seventh to try to rally the mutated humans to the cause; and Myra stays behind and uses her Beacon in a dangerous game of cat and mouse against Drakken. Short chapters ending in cliffhangers (many with no payoff once the storyline is revisited) bog down the pacing, while predictability decreases readers’ investment, as the Continuums must inevitably unite against the powerful enemy. While racial markers (short of the occasional hair color) are absent, implying a white default, there is a storyline in which the mutated residents of the Seventh Continuum face discrimination. The climactic battle proceeds predictably, though it’s not without entertainment value, and the romantic storylines tie up too neatly.

Marred by filler, pacing issues, and predictability. (Science fiction. 12-17)

Pub Date: July 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68162-262-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Turner

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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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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Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles.

A MAP OF DAYS

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 4

The victory of Jacob and his fellow peculiars over the previous episode’s wights and hollowgasts turns out to be only one move in a larger game as Riggs (Tales of the Peculiar, 2016, etc.) shifts the scene to America.

Reading largely as a setup for a new (if not exactly original) story arc, the tale commences just after Jacob’s timely rescue from his decidedly hostile parents. Following aimless visits back to newly liberated Devil’s Acre and perfunctory normalling lessons for his magically talented friends, Jacob eventually sets out on a road trip to find and recruit Noor, a powerful but imperiled young peculiar of Asian Indian ancestry. Along the way he encounters a semilawless patchwork of peculiar gangs, syndicates, and isolated small communities—many at loggerheads, some in the midst of negotiating a tentative alliance with the Ymbryne Council, but all threatened by the shadowy Organization. The by-now-tangled skein of rivalries, romantic troubles, and family issues continues to ravel amid bursts of savage violence and low comedy (“I had never seen an invisible person throw up before,” Jacob writes, “and it was something I won’t soon forget”). A fresh set of found snapshots serves, as before, to add an eldritch atmosphere to each set of incidents. The cast defaults to white but includes several people of color with active roles.

Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles. (Horror/Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3214-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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