If Princess Anastasia, youngest daughter of the last Russian czar, survived the family slaughter to have a love child with...

LAST OF HER NAME

The sole surviving member of the galaxy’s imperial family comes out of hiding to fight for the future of the known world.

Seventeen-year-old Stacia, an apprentice mechanic, lives quietly on her father’s vineyard on the purple planet of Amethyne with her best friends Pol and Clio. When Amethyne is invaded, Stacia discovers that she is actually Anya Petrovna Leonova, youngest child of slain Emperor Pyotr, spirited away by rebels and hidden since she was a baby. Anya/Stacia escapes Amethyne with Pol only to run afoul of a gravity witch, a young man named Riyan, who’s a tensor from the planet Diamin. It turns out that Anya/Stacia’s royalty is encoded in her DNA. Crystals called Prisms fuel the entire galaxy; their source, the Prismata, is accessible to Leonova royalty alone through something called the Firebird. Anya/Stacia must solve the mystery of the Firebird, decide whose side she is on, rescue her friend Clio, and save the known world. It’s nonstop action, but it doesn’t make much sense; the emotional arcs don’t ring true, and the Anya-Pol romance feels obligatory. The writing combines canned dialogue with way too many present active participles. Characters’ skin tones cover all the colors of the rainbow and beyond.

If Princess Anastasia, youngest daughter of the last Russian czar, survived the family slaughter to have a love child with the Star Wars franchise, this is what you’d get. A hot mess. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-24336-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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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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A cute, feel-good coming-of-age story.

YOU HAVE A MATCH

A DNA test reveals that Abby has a sister she never knew about—and they head off to summer camp together to uncover family secrets.

When 16-year-old Abby’s best friend and secret crush, Leo, asks her to do a mail-in DNA test with him, Abby mostly agrees to give him a little push, as he clearly wants to find out more about his birth family. While the results don’t help Leo, they bring a shocking result for Abby: She has a full-blooded sister, 18-year-old Instagram wellness star Savvy, who lives in another Seattle suburb. After meeting and realizing their respective parents used to be friends, the two girls decide to meet again at summer camp. Unfortunately, camp gets off to a rough start; Savvy is a stickler for rules, Abby didn’t read the rules in the first place, and Leo is a camp chef, which only intensifies Abby’s feelings for him. With a summer full of new friends, hijinks, delicious food, and digging up secrets, Abby has to learn to lean in and own up to the complicated parts of life. This is a heartwarming novel of friendship and family, with a little romance. The story and characters have depth and emotion, touching on topics of broken friendships, losing a loved one, deception, social media, and pursuing what you love. Abby, Savvy, and Leo’s adoptive parents are White; Leo is Filipino.

A cute, feel-good coming-of-age story. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-23730-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 22, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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