Exciting if not particularly filling.

INDIGO AWAKENING

From the Hunted series , Vol. 1

Ultrapsychic children with intense blue auras—hence the label “Indigo”—find themselves under attack from a group of fanatics.

Seventeen-year-old Rayne’s brother Lucas has fled from a mental hospital operated by the sinister Church of Spiritual Freedom. Lucas may be a “crystal child” with psychic abilities far superior to even the best of the Indigo children. Now he runs through the streets of Los Angeles, seeking refuge. Meanwhile, Rayne meets Gabe, a boy who appears to have even more psychic power than Lucas. They search for Lucas while the Church searches for all of them. Fortunately, the extreme psychic powers, such as the ability to manifest hordes of snakes, bats and other animals, works well for protection from various bad guys. Galloping suspense turns out to be the main attraction of the book, along with a few romance episodes and some pathos. Worldbuilding and characterization suffer, however. Readers never learn anything about the Church of Spiritual Freedom aside from its brutal intent to destroy the Indigo children. The church and its believers appear to have no religious doctrine whatsoever. Rayne’s sister, Mia, has become part of the Church, but neither her motivations nor her position within it are clear. Rayne, at least, has a spunky personality and a pet iguana that adds some spice to the narrative. Some of the Indigo children also stand out as interesting characters.

Exciting if not particularly filling. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-373-21076-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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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

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An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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