by J.M. Buckler ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 28, 2019
A pleasingly complex entry in a YA SF epic.
Buckler (Stillness of Time, 2018, etc.) continues the interplanetary adventures of superpowered twins in this third installment in a YA series.
Elara and Cyrus were born on the beautiful but turbulent planet Aroonyx but raised as normal high school students on Earth. Their guide and mentor, Jax, who has the power to instantly travel between the two worlds, explained to them that Aroonyx is divided into Solin and Lunin people, all ruled by brutal dictator Zenith. As this installment opens, it’s been six weeks since Jax abandoned Elara and Cyrus—an especially traumatic development for Elara, who’d fallen in love with Jax. The story finds Elara and Cyrus deeply embedded in the planet’s struggle against Zenith’s forces on Aroonyx, and, as Elara reflects, “defeating Zenith without Jax’s guidance seemed like a lost cause.” War is imminent, but, unsurprisingly, Jax doesn’t stay missing for long; his emotional connection with Elara is the cornerstone of the series, and he’s also a key YA character type: the brooding hero; at one point, Elara even says that he’d make “a great Jon Snow” from Game of Thrones. Along the way, Elara and Cyrus must also face off with members of Zenith’s elite Inner Circle. Overall, this series entry successfully amps up both the political intrigue and the personal drama. Buckler has always shown a good deal of skill with dialogue and pacing, but both are considerably stronger here. The book offers very little in the way of exposition for readers who may be encountering the series for the first time, but Buckler still manages to incorporate enough information to make it possible to jump right into the story, including an initial character list. The fact that matters of world-changing importance are linked to sappy individual romances can seem a bit silly at times; Elara even asks at one point, “Is it too late to save the people of Aroonyx? Is it too late to save my relationship with Jax?” But the book’s other pleasures more than compensate for this.A pleasingly complex entry in a YA SF epic.
Pub Date: Oct. 28, 2019
Page Count: 682
Publisher: Gratus Publishing
Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2020
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
Share your opinion of this book
by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015
The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
National Book Award Finalist
Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.
Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Pub Date: March 10, 2015
Page Count: 720
Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015
Share your opinion of this book
More About This Book
by Harper Lee ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 11, 1960
A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.
Pub Date: July 11, 1960
Page Count: 323
Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960
Share your opinion of this book
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!