An eerie and somewhat elusive SF tale that takes plastic recycling to a new level.


From the Plastic Girl series , Vol. 1

In Maison’s YA SF novel set on a flooded future Earth, a teenager learns that plastic waste in the water has evolved—and that she can create new life out of it.

On a planet wracked by pollution, flooding, and mass starvation, organized society has collapsed and countless orphaned children must fend for themselves. Eva, who’s 16, has been foraging on her own in a coastal environment. While exploring an island, she finds that the ubiquitous bits of plastic detritus floating in the water have somehow mutated into a wormlike form of life. She also discovers that she can shape these figurines into lifelike recreations of other fauna, including fish, butterflies, and raccoons. Such synthetic creations only come to full life on or near the mysterious island. Jacob, a refugee boy who may be in league with some threatening people, steals Eva’s boat, leaving her stranded there. She eventually dares to build other young people out of the worms, leaving her with a fully sentient “sister” named Iris, among other companions. The humanoids seem friendly and comforting, but it turns out that the “plastic people” can manufacture other people of their own—and Eva finds a male specimen, portentously named Cain, to be threatening. Readers may find the preponderance of pseudo-Biblical names to be a bit distracting over the course of this novel. However, Maison has crafted an enigmatic, surreal SF castaway tale that ultimately pays off with a suspenseful account of a fight for survival. It manages to leave more than enough questions unanswered to allow for follow-up installments. The YA target audience may appreciate the fact that the spooky narrative, which is sometimes reminiscent of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, never becomes childish in tone, even when venturing into the dicey territory of tormented teen love in fantastic circumstances.

An eerie and somewhat elusive SF tale that takes plastic recycling to a new level.

Pub Date: April 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9995707-7-7

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Wicked Tree Press

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2020

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.


A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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