A cut above the genre average.

A BEAUTIFUL DARK

From the Beautiful Dark series , Vol. 1

Here’s a paranormal romance that doesn’t follow all the conventions of the genre but relies at least in part on imagination to feed the needs of readers seeking supernatural fun.

In this novel, the heroine has no difficulty with vampires, werewolves, mermen or ghosts. Instead, Skye appears to live within reality in the normal world, until strange things start happening to her on her 17th birthday. Of course, two handsome new boys have coincidentally appeared, both with the ability to make girls weak in the knees at a glance, but it’s Skye herself who seems to have some kind of supernatural ability. Her eyes turn from gray to shiny silver, and machinery explodes around her. Eventually readers learn that the boys—golden Devin and dark Asher—are angels, one a “guardian” and the other a rebel. Skye can’t avoid her strong attraction to Asher, but Devin pulls at her heart as well. Little does she know that she’s a very special girl, in great danger, with a life-changing choice to make. Davies layers on the suspense, delving ever further into the supernatural but keeping some realism in the story until the final confrontation (which may or may not set up a sequel). While angels are almost as thick on the ground these days as vampires, Devin and Asher achieve a modicum of originality, and Skye has enough spunk to please her audience.

A cut above the genre average. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-199065-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more