A clichéd start gives way to a richly drawn world of keenly devised magic. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

TRIAL BY FIRE

From the Worldwalker Trilogy series , Vol. 1

Once meek and tormented by debilitating allergies, a girl is transported to an alternate universe and becomes a staggeringly powerful witch.

Lily Proctor leads a painful life in Salem, Massachusetts, stricken with seizures and responsible for the care of her schizophrenic mother. When her best friend and unrequited love, Tristan, betrays her at a party, Lily finds herself listening to a mysterious voice inside her head that offers a way out. Suddenly, she appears in an unfamiliar version of her town and is greeted as the Lady of Salem. It appears that Lillian, an alternative version of Lily, summoned her from this other Salem. Realizing she can’t trust her doppelganger, Lily flees, stumbling into Rowan, a man once harmed by the true Lady of Salem. Desperate to get back home, Lily unwittingly becomes embroiled in the struggles of new friends. In this Salem, Lily’s fevers give her power. She’s a crucible—able to change heat into force. But to what end will she harness that power? Angelini begins with a trite setup in present time but quickly subverts tropes once Lily arrives in the alternative Salem. Lillian makes for a mostly absent villain, leaving the bulk of the tension to Lily and Rowan. Readers will be swept into the inner workings of crucibles and witches and left eager for more.

A clichéd start gives way to a richly drawn world of keenly devised magic. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-05088-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

SCYTHE

From the Arc of a Scythe series , Vol. 1

Two teens train to be society-sanctioned killers in an otherwise immortal world.

On post-mortal Earth, humans live long (if not particularly passionate) lives without fear of disease, aging, or accidents. Operating independently of the governing AI (called the Thunderhead since it evolved from the cloud), scythes rely on 10 commandments, quotas, and their own moral codes to glean the population. After challenging Hon. Scythe Faraday, 16-year-olds Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova reluctantly become his apprentices. Subjected to killcraft training, exposed to numerous executions, and discouraged from becoming allies or lovers, the two find themselves engaged in a fatal competition but equally determined to fight corruption and cruelty. The vivid and often violent action unfolds slowly, anchored in complex worldbuilding and propelled by political machinations and existential musings. Scythes’ journal entries accompany Rowan’s and Citra’s dual and dueling narratives, revealing both personal struggles and societal problems. The futuristic post–2042 MidMerican world is both dystopia and utopia, free of fear, unexpected death, and blatant racism—multiracial main characters discuss their diverse ethnic percentages rather than purity—but also lacking creativity, emotion, and purpose. Elegant and elegiac, brooding but imbued with gallows humor, Shusterman’s dark tale thrusts realistic, likable teens into a surreal situation and raises deep philosophic questions.

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7242-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

more