Sure to appeal to teens raised on the Hunger Games and Divergent series.

EDEN CONQUERED

From the Dividing Eden series , Vol. 2

The vanquished princess Carys, thought to have been killed in a mortal struggle with her twin brother, Andreus, in the first volume in the series, continues her arduous journey.

With a handful of loyal followers, Carys returns to the Palace of the Winds to reclaim the Throne of Light. Weakened by the severe punishment she received in the Trials of Virtuous Succession and addicted to a powerful painkiller, the Tears of Midnight, administered by her nefarious mother, Carys nevertheless begins to be aware of the hitherto subconscious influence of the magical wind on her actions. Meanwhile back at the castle, Andreus, now king, is adept at repairing and maintaining the wind-powered, steampunk-style electrical lights which keep the Xhelozi monsters at bay. However, he remains vulnerable to the Machiavellian plotting of the Elders and his delusional but still powerful mother. Carys realizes that the enemy is becoming stronger as chaos in the castle causes the virtues to become unbalanced in the kingdom. She feels compelled to return to help her brother, if only she can follow Seeress Kiara’s advice to safely wield the wind by retaining control over her anger. The ending indicates that a sequel will surely follow this fast-moving, intricately plotted thriller with a powerful, charismatic heroine, skilled in armed combat and learning to control her impulses.

Sure to appeal to teens raised on the Hunger Games and Divergent series. (Fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-245387-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A disappointing delivery on a potentially gripping second volume.

THE BALLAD OF NEVER AFTER

From the Once Upon a Broken Heart series , Vol. 2

Evangeline faces new dangers in her quest for happiness in this follow-up to 2021’s Once Upon a Broken Heart.

As Evangeline Fox seeks a cure for her poisoned husband, Prince Apollo, the enticing and infuriating Fate Jacks reappears, offering to save Apollo if she unlocks the Valory Arch. Remembering the long list of ills brought upon her by the Fate, Evangeline refuses. When the new heir arrives and Apollo wakes with a new curse and glowing red eyes, she is forced to delve into the mysteries of the Valors and find the arch’s four missing magical stones whose powers are luck, truth, mirth, and youth. The inclusion of expanded Valor lore alongside the preexisting blend of fairy-tale and paranormal creatures is intriguing and fits the overarching theme of storytelling as history. The ongoing use of emotions as a scale for displaying and determining one’s humanity, especially by Fates, is equally interesting. Unfortunately, the impact of Evangeline’s often amusing narration and numerous surprising plot twists is diluted by the meandering pacing, convoluted sensory descriptions, and close focus on Evangeline’s fluctuating attraction toward her potential love interests. Despite the positive emphasis on hope and happily-ever-afters, Evangeline’s romantic relationship with Jacks borders on manipulative and toxic. Evangeline reads White; side characters are fantasy diverse.

A disappointing delivery on a potentially gripping second volume. (map) (Fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-26842-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 30

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

more