A bloody good way to end a trilogy.

THE FOREVER SONG

From the Blood of Eden series , Vol. 3

Vampire Allie, one of the genre’s toughest heroines, returns with one last chance to save both vampire- and humankind in this conclusion to the Blood of Eden series.

The monstrous side of Allie’s vampire nature threatens to overwhelm her, numbing the pain she feels over losing Zeke to the mad vampire Sarren at the end of The Eternity Cure (2013). This disappoints her human sire, Kanin, although it delights Kanin’s other vampire spawn (and Allie’s blood brother), vicious, snarky Jackal. Bad-and-proud former villain Jackal brings needed laughs. The mismatched vampire family is in hot pursuit of Sarren, who created a mutated plague he calls Requiem to kill humans, vampires and the monstrous rabids alike. They must stop him before he reaches and destroys the human-only city of Eden, whose scientists have made the most progress toward a cure. While following Sarren is easy, finding food isn’t: Sarren’s slaughtering his way across the countryside, leaving no humans for them to feed from. Worse, he’s come up with a way to use Zeke to hurt Allie. But if the heroes allow Sarren’s diversions to slow them down, Eden could pay the price. And if Sarren’s virus escapes, all life (and unlife) is doomed. Stomach-churning gore and heart-pounding action balance the (occasionally repetitive) romantic angst and moral inquiries into the nature of monsters.

A bloody good way to end a trilogy.   (discussion questions) (Horror. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-373-21112-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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An immersive tale of brave, vulnerable teens facing threats both real and fantastic.

ALL OUR HIDDEN GIFTS

An Irish teen grapples with past misdeeds and newfound ties to magic.

When 16-year-old Maeve discovers a deck of tarot cards stashed with a mixtape of moody indie music from 1990, she starts giving readings for her classmates at her all-girls private school. Though her shame over dumping her strange friend Lily during an attempt to climb the social ladder at St. Bernadette’s is still palpable, it doesn’t stop her from trying to use the tarot in her favor to further this goal. However, after speaking harsh words to Lily during a reading, Maeve is horrified when her former friend later disappears. As she struggles to understand the forces at play within her, classmate Fiona proves to be just the friend Maeve needs. Detailed, interesting characters carry this contemporary story of competing energy and curses. Woven delicately throughout are chillingly eerie depictions of the Housekeeper, a figure who shows up on an extra card in the deck, echoing the White Lady legend from Irish folklore. Even more disturbing is an organization of young people led by a homophobic but charismatic figurehead intent on provoking backlash against Ireland’s recent civil rights victories. Most characters are White; Fiona is biracial, with a Filipina mother and White Irish father. Roe, Maeve’s love interest and Lily’s sibling, is a bisexual, genderqueer person who is a target for intolerance in their small city of Kilbeg.

An immersive tale of brave, vulnerable teens facing threats both real and fantastic. (Paranormal. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1394-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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

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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

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