The strongest installment thus far—Estep delivers.

DARK FROST

From the Mythos Academy series , Vol. 3

In Estep’s third Mythos Academy novel, Gwen Frost not only fights but causes more trouble than ever in a mighty clash of titans.

The psychometry gift that has earned her the title of Gypsy takes on new dimensions when Gwen investigates an enemy from the last book. Her best friend, Daphne, whom readers know well at this stage, also undergoes a surprising ripening of her preternatural abilities. Estep’s ingenuity in devising strains of sorcery with which to endow her characters expands to drive her story forward, and set the stage for unprecedented obstacles and revelations. Where the author has previously shielded Gwen from malevolence so dark it would tarnish her soul, she now pitches Gwen into the abyss. Readers will thrill to participate in Gwen’s transformation: She must accept the greatest responsibility yet possible in the battle of good vs. evil that the gods, goddesses and their magical mortals wage. Gwen also faces a difficult choice that a discovery about her recently murdered, and dearly missed, mother further complicates. The outcome is a secret Gwen keeps from friends and even from Logan, her Spartan heartthrob, who finally shares secrets of his own and titillates readers with his admirable ardor.

The strongest installment thus far—Estep delivers. (Urban fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: June 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7582-6696-5

Page Count: 390

Publisher: Kensington

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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An accomplished, exciting debut.

ALL THE STARS AND TEETH

From the All the Stars and Teeth series , Vol. 1

A princess embarks on a dangerous path to the throne.

In the island kingdom of Visidia, where each person is allowed just one type of magic, only the members of the royal Montara family have the ability to wield the dangerous soul magic. Princess Amora is next in line to be High Animancer, but she must first prove to her people that she is powerful enough to use her magic to protect them. But something goes terribly wrong during a critical public ceremony, and Amora runs away with dashing pirate Bastian, whose rescue comes with a price: She must help him recover his own magic, stolen away by a dangerous man leading a growing rebellion that could bring down the whole kingdom. Debut author Grace wields her own magic with a skillful balancing act between high-stakes adventure (here there be monsters, mermaids, and high-seas shenanigans), bloody fantasy, and character development in a story with a lovable found family at its core. Amora yearns for adventure just as she welcomes her right to command her kingdom; her ferocious sense of duty and legitimate need to do good shine through. The novel’s further unravelling of dark secrets long kept comes with a recognized need for accountability and making amends which adds a thoughtful extra layer to the rich worldbuilding. Amora has copper-brown skin and dark, curly hair; other characters have a range of skin tones in this diverse world.

An accomplished, exciting debut. (guide to the kingdom) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-30778-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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