INVASION

From the C.H.A.O.S. Novels series , Vol. 1

Comic Book Characters Come to Life! Really: Events told in comic books are found to have been based on real events and people in this game but improbable series opener. Colt has recently moved in with his World War II–hero grandfather in Arizona following his parents’ sudden death in a suspicious car accident. This neatly lays the groundwork for a light romance with country-music aficionado Lily, but it just so happens that this is also the home of evil Trident Industries! And aliens are trying to take over the earth! Teen heroes Colt, Oz and Dani research the comics for clues on how to proceed against the alien threat rather than ask Colt’s Grandpa, who is the stories’ inspiration and should know. But really, given what narrator Colt is reporting on, logic is not required. Brisk pace, aliens and jet-packs and other cool-but-unlikely gizmos provide appeal if not coherence. Lewis is a veteran of the comic-book industry, and his plot is a domestic read-alike of Alex Rider. Fine for breakneck-adventure addicts but not so wonderful if readers expect real characters and emotion. (Thriller. 10-15)

 

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59554-753-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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More terrific combat scenes, but a bit too heavy on character development to fly at speed.

CYTONIC

From the Skyward series , Vol. 3

The third episode in the Skyward series sees red-hot space pilot Spensa Nightshade coming into her full powers as she battles both pirates and space monsters in a strange interdimensional nowhere.

Leaving her ongoing feud with evil galactic overlords on temporary hold back in the somewhere, Spensa passes through a portal to a realm where time and memories tend to slip away, bits of landscape randomly snipped from reality float like islands around a distant sunburst—and teeming hordes of disembodied, malevolent entities called delvers are relentlessly hunting her down. Fun as all the space-opera elements are, though, they continue a trend from the preceding volume in deadening the efforts of Spensa and sidekicks old and new to establish personal identities or backstories, wrestle with inner demons, or, in the case of the AI M-Bot, practice insults and deal with newly discovered emotions. A few wild aerial dogfights and larger battles later, however, Spensa has come into her cytonic superpowers, found out some crucial things about the delvers, and made her way back to the somewhere. Now for those overlords….McSweeney contributes a map, lovingly detailed sets of spaceship plans, and galleries of the multispecies cast members. Wild diversity of intergalactic body types notwithstanding, human members seem uniformly White.

More terrific combat scenes, but a bit too heavy on character development to fly at speed. (Science fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-399-55585-5

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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