An unillustrated comic disappointingly lives up to type. (Thriller. 10-15)

READ REVIEW

DOMINATION

From the C.H.A.O.S. series , Vol. 3

Colt McAlister leads Phantom Squad of the CHAOS Military Academy in the fight against the Thule, lizardlike aliens who are attempting to destroy humanity in this alternate world that borrows heavily from comic-book conventions.

Colt has had the blood of the Thule injected into him in the hopes of making him the legendary Betrayer, and he is expected to be the savior of all mankind. The times are dire, as Thule attacks are increasingly frightening, causing thousands of casualties and leaving ruin behind them. The now-familiar action is flavored with a touch of Hollywood, as Colt is asked to be a showman with his jet-pack agility cadets. There’s an evil villain mastermind, a town that is not all it seems and bullying of the good alien who is an ally, along with many other familiar tropes. Most notably, the bullets that fly fast and furious never seem to do much damage—with the obvious exception of the bully, of course. Danielle and Oz, buddies from previous adventures (Invasion, 2010, and Alienation, 2012) still have Colt’s back. Colt’s romance with Lily stays in the background, except as a reminder of the path of virtue when other hotties tempt him; Colt’s grandfather, Murdoch McAlister, continues to have remarkable connections and prescience. All in all, readers of the series will find this title fitting in perfectly with their expectations.

An unillustrated comic disappointingly lives up to type. (Thriller. 10-15)

Pub Date: April 16, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59554-755-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With fewer living Holocaust survivors each year, it’s increasingly important to tell their story, and this is one, however...

PLAYING FOR THE COMMANDANT

A Jewish girl sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau lives because of the whims of a sadistic camp commandant.

Even in the squalor of the 1944 Hungarian ghetto, Hanna Mendel has hope for her promised place at the Budapest Conservatorium of Music, until the Nazis order the ghetto’s Jews onto cattle cars. As her journey progresses, Hanna systematically loses everything: her home and piano, cleanliness, preciously hoarded sheet music, her father at the gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and her clothes and hair—even her name—as she’s processed into the camp. Chance leads Hanna to a terrible hope, for the camp’s commandant seeks a pianist. Like all the commandant’s personal slaves, her life is only minimally improved. Though she doesn’t work at hard labor, she starves just as harshly as any prisoner. The commandant’s sulky son, who helps sneak tiny scraps of food into the camp, appeals to Hanna much more than the diseased, wretched Jewish boys. Except for the infelicitously handled romance, Hanna’s story is reminiscent of such classics as Aranka Siegal’s Upon the Head of the Goat (1981). If anything, Hanna’s tale isn’t brutal enough—her starvation has few physical implications, for instance, and she’s blithely ignorant until war’s end of what’s burned in the camp ovens or the fate of Dr. Mengele’s twins.

With fewer living Holocaust survivors each year, it’s increasingly important to tell their story, and this is one, however soft-pedaled . (Historical fiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6403-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A Christian fantasy with a wholesome message and down-on-the-farm twist.

THE BLUE DOOR

From the Threshold series , Vol. 1

A spiritual adventure balances strong Christian messages of family and faith with the challenges of being a teenager on a farm.

This first installment in the Threshold series introduces 14-year-old Prissie Pomeroy, the only daughter in her family (she has five brothers). Life for Prissie on her family farm is pretty mundane: The highlight of her week is a visit from the friendly letter carrier, Milo. However, one day a heavenly visitor changes everything, especially her interactions with Milo, who turns out to be an angel sent to help deliver her a message. This revelation rocks Prissie’s world, with the appearance of angels testing her deep faith and opening her eyes to the many ethereal beings that surround humankind, including her own guardian angel. Kinde dedicates much of this first volume to laying the foundation for the series and clearly defining the hierarchy of angels, which range from protectors to messengers. Although the tale is short on adventure, the majority of chapters open with a short snippet of text featuring fallen angels that hints of great danger for Prissie in future installments. In tandem with Prissie’s attempts to reconcile her new ethereal companions are her struggles to maintain friendships and deal with growing pains.

A Christian fantasy with a wholesome message and down-on-the-farm twist. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-310-72419-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more