For romance fans only, who should enjoy it.

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A RADIANT SKY

From the Beautiful Dark series , Vol. 3

Romance trumps action even during the final battle to save the world in this trilogy closer.

At 17, Skye learned she was the daughter of two angels, one a Guardian and one a Rebel, giving her supernatural powers beyond any ever before seen. Now in conflict with both factions, she and her friends unite to try to forge a new way and keep the universe in balance. Sadly, both of her heartthrobs, former Guardian Devin and Asher, now both in the Rebel camp, oppose her, even though they all still have to attend high school together. Skye tracks down two other Rogue angels, one with a cute little daughter named Earth, and the group sets out to prepare for the epic battle and for another important event: prom. When that heroic battle occurs, Davies keeps her focus more on romance than on the action, interrupting the battle numerous times for conversations explaining the participants’ emotions, decisions and sudden romantic realizations; Asher reaches full Harlequin eloquence in his final speech to Skye. In the closing pages, Skye makes a final, major choice that indeed should fully end the trilogy. Skye, Devin and Asher come across as standard-issue romance heroes, but a few of the minor characters achieve some nice individuality, especially Earth.

For romance fans only, who should enjoy it. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-199069-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the...

CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 2

In this follow-up to Children of Blood and Bone (2018), Zélie and company are back, and the future of Orïsha hangs in the balance.

Zélie, now a maji Reaper, has achieved her goal and brought magic back to Orïsha, but at great cost. Grief and loss are strong themes throughout the book, compounded by guilt for Zélie, who feels responsible for her father’s death. Zélie and her older brother, Tzain, try to help Princess Amari ascend the throne, believing her family dead—but Queen Nehanda, Amari’s mother, is very much alive and more formidable than they could imagine. The trio join the Iyika, a band of rebel maji working to protect their persecuted people from threats new and old. Though the characters’ trauma reads as real and understandable, their decisions don’t always feel sensible or logical, often stemming from a lack of communication or forethought, which may leave readers frustrated. Though still commendable for its detailed worldbuilding, with an ending compelling enough to keep fans interested in the next installment, much of the book feels like navigating minefields of characters’ ill-advised decisions. All characters are black except for a secondary character with silky black hair, tan skin, and gray eyes “like teardrops.”

Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the first. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-17099-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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An accomplished, exciting debut.

ALL THE STARS AND TEETH

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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