An intriguing payoff is coming but not soon enough.

STORM FROM THE EAST

From the Glass Alliance series , Vol. 2

It’s never good when the second volume doubles down on the issues of the first.

Athan, son of a northern general, and Aurelia, a rebellious princess with ties to both the peaceful royal North and the tumultuous South, continue their ponderous journey through infatuation and war toward the showdown promised in the prologue of Dark of the West (2019). Although the war and political machinations have advanced, neither protagonist has changed much yet; 17-year-old Aurelia continues to believe that “blood” defines her and that she can find solutions, and Athan continues to decry the ambition and duplicitousness of his family and their war while also seeking their approval and rebelling only emotionally. Hathaway is interested in big ideas: the cost of war, the nature of loyalty, how to keep hope alive for a better future. Many of the complex (although not always clear) political machinations turn out to be motivated by individual revenge fantasies (everyone in power is a self-righteous hypocrite, and Athan and Aurelia aren’t much better), which makes sympathy hard to feel, and sometimes-overwrought prose (“Remains of Safire bombers still smoke, spread out like grotesque butter among the trees”) bogs down the story. Characters’ skin tones range from pale to brown.

An intriguing payoff is coming but not soon enough. (map) (Military fantasy. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9644-0

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Tor Teen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

A slo-mo environmental disaster story.

THE NATURE OF WITCHES

Weather witches confront climate change in this fantasy.

Clara Densmore is her generation’s sole Everwitch and is unwilling to embrace her powers. Unlike the male and female autumn, winter, spring, and summer witches, whose powers peak during their respective seasons, Clara thrives year-round. At the Eastern School of Solar Magic in Pennsylvania, 17-year-old Clara shuns friendships and only does short-term flings, as her love can be lethal and has already killed her parents and best friend. Losing her powers seems like the selfless solution, but nonmagical shaders have pushed the planet too far with their environmental destruction. Seasonal witches are starting to die amid accelerated natural disasters—and only Clara can save the world. A budding romance with magical mentor/visiting botany student 18-year-old Sang Park from California helps Clara bloom. Redheaded, blue-eyed Clara is cued as White, and Sang is Korean American—but race, class, and other identity-related concerns are rarely a factor in this world. Debut author Griffin unfortunately fails to breathe new life into chosen one fantasy tropes—the obligatory villain, the unavoidable romance, the overly dramatic sacrifice—but excels at lush and lovely descriptions of nature and the weather and delivers a stern, if heavy-handed, message about environmental consequences of modern living.

A slo-mo environmental disaster story. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72822-942-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more