From the Starcrossed series , Vol. 3

Oh, the humanity.

Power, love and vengeance come together in this consistently over-the-top conclusion to the Starcrossed trilogy.

Nantucket teen Helen Hamilton is a direct descendent of Helen of Troy, and she’s as entangled as her ancestor was in wars between gods and men. Helen is a Scion, one of an ancient family descended from the Greek gods and cursed to re-enact the old hatreds throughout the ages. Her erstwhile lover Lucas is himself the reincarnation of the first Helen’s lover, Paris. Along with the other Scions—most of whom are confusingly similar to multiple other characters and have seemingly random Classical names, such as Orion, who looks exactly like his uncle Adonis and is Aeneas reborn—Helen must keep the Greek gods from destroying the Earth. With monster-filled battles and the Earth at stake, the plot has no need for the ludicrous forces creating unresolvable sexual tension between Helen and Lucas. Their love has been destined for eons, leaving them without the free will to feel as strongly about others. Helen and Lucas are first cousins, and Scion close relatives always have insane children. They can’t choose to be childless because of another ancient curse which will damn the human race if Helen doesn’t have a baby. Cinematic battle scenes are punctuated with a presumably unintentionally hilarious fireworks-backed kiss and culminate in an overly expository epilogue.

Oh, the humanity. (Paranormal romance. 14-16)

Pub Date: May 28, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-201203-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013


Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017


Equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking.

Sixteen-year-old Mandy considers herself the anti-Starfire: Unlike her scantily clad superhero mother, she doesn’t have superpowers, can’t fly, and doesn’t even own a bathing suit.

Mandy dyes her hair and dresses in all black to further call out how different they are. Mandy’s best friend, Lincoln, whose parents were born in Vietnam, insightfully summarizes this rift as being down to an intergenerational divide that occurs whether parents and children come from different countries or different planets. Mandy tries to figure out what kind of future she wants for herself as she struggles with teenage insecurities and bullying, her relationship with her mom, and her budding friendship (or is it something more?) with her new class project partner, Claire. Yoshitani’s vibrant and colorful stylized illustrations beautifully meld the various iterations of Starfire and the Titans with the live-action versions of those characters. Together with Tamaki’s punchy writing, this coming-of-age story of identity, family, friendship, and saving the world is skillfully brought to life in a quick but nuanced read. These layers are most strongly displayed as the story draws parallels between cultural differences between the generations as evidenced in how the characters address bullying, body positivity, fatphobia, fetishization and sexualization, and feminism. This title addresses many important concepts briefly, but well, with great pacing, bold art, and concise and snappy dialogue. The cast is broadly diverse in both primary and secondary characters.

Equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking. (Graphic fantasy. 14-16)

Pub Date: July 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77950-126-4

Page Count: 184

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2021

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