Teens who have outgrown Percy Jackson and moved into the paranormal-romance phase won't mind the amateurish prose; they'll...

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STARCROSSED

What if Bella Swan were a demigod?

Helen is the loveliest girl on Nantucket, but until the sexy Delos family comes to the island, she's always tried to stay under the radar. It's not just her looks that attract attention; Helen knows her strength, speed and hearing all approach superpower levels. But she can't stay hidden in the presence of the Delos cousins, Jason, Hector, Cassandra, Ariadne and the sexiest one, Lucas—yes, Lucas. (Some complicated handwaving explains why he is named Lucas instead of—as was intended—Paris.) Readers trained on trendy Greek mythological fantasy won't be surprised to learn both Helen and the newcomers are demigods. In their blonde beauty (really!), they look exactly like their quasi-mythological ancestors and are cursed by the Furies and the gods to replay ancient dramas across history. Lucas and Helen are both drawn together and forced apart by fate and desire. The cousins, meanwhile, help Helen develop her powerful demigod abilities while tutoring her on the massive forces arrayed against her. Though weirdly inconsistent perspective, startling shifts of voice and scenes that feel like they've been copied almost directly from Twilight break the flow, the drama's epic scale complements the love story's pacing. A refreshingly strong heroine carries readers into the setup for book two.

Teens who have outgrown Percy Jackson and moved into the paranormal-romance phase won't mind the amateurish prose; they'll be caught up in the we-must-we-can't sexual tension. (Paranormal romance. 13-15)

Pub Date: June 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-201199-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

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Even those who loved the first book might find too little logic in this conclusion

THE PACK

A group of shape-shifting runaways from the circus, on the run from genocidal hunters, tries to find a home.

Flo, her boyfriend, Jett, and the other shifters just want to find a strong pack to join. The teenagers (all either white or with no identified race) can all shift into an animal form: bears or tigers, parrots or rats, elephants or horses. The frightened escapees, who’ve lost many of their loved ones to hunters, have been seeking some safe place in the woods. The members of this huge cast (with too many names and animal forms to keep track of) have a wide array of agendas. Should they join the wild pack? The wolf pack? Should they even stay together? After brief dramas, many of these newly introduced characters vanish, never to be heard from again. Finally, Flo and the shifters are captured by hunters, who are in league with the lion who used to run their circus, who’d been betraying them for years and who now seeks to strike a bargain. Further dramatic revelations and betrayals await, of course. There’s no attempt to summarize the events of The Wanderers (2015), and with so many characters, side quests, and double crosses, it’s often difficult to keep track.

Even those who loved the first book might find too little logic in this conclusion . (Fantasy. 13-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5107-1218-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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Though it’s a bit of a slog, readers of Book 1 will find it worth the time for its unexpected conclusion

THE SHADOW'S CURSE

A lost prince and his ladylove must defeat the tyrant rampaging over the steppes with an army of enslaved spirits in this sequel to The Oathbreaker’s Shadow (2015).

Raim is haunted by the spirit of his best friend, Khareh—a spirit that appeared when Raim accidentally broke an oath made by another, leaving him magically marked and exiled from his nomadic tribe as an oathbreaker. Khareh yet lives, but with the best part of himself lost in the spirit, his ambition has become megalomania. Not content to be khan of his tribe alone, Khareh aims to join all the northern nomads into one massive khanate. Raim seeks control over his spirit but also yearns to rescue Wadi, the dark-skinned desert girl to whom he's given his heart. Wadi is Khareh's captive, and she is more than capable of freeing herself from the cruel young khan; nevertheless she must stay a captive. It's her destiny to make a king of Raim, she learns from a blind seer in one of the stalest tropes of superpowered disability. Raim, Khareh, and Wadi travel all over the steppes of Darhan, giving a solid glimpse of this fantasy world roughly based on the lives of Mongolian nomads. A dense narrative of tiny chapters with shifting points of view leaves little time to become invested in each character's journey.

Though it’s a bit of a slog, readers of Book 1 will find it worth the time for its unexpected conclusion . (Fantasy. 13-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7387-4512-1

Page Count: 456

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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