Less a whodunit than a "how do we stop it!?", this fantasy-steeped mystery should appeal to fans of Franny Billingsley's...

THE SHATTERING

A motley crew of teens band together to catch a serial killer and break the perverse spell that keeps their New Zealand resort town so idyllic.

The older brothers of Summerton’s residents and vacationers are killing themselves—one boy each year—and prepared-for-anything Keri, sexy would-be rocker Janna and dreamy, insecure Sione, who’ve all lost their older brothers, figure it’s no coincidence. Working the case with a tenacity and creativity that would do Sam Spade proud, the three discover that otherwise-trustworthy adults are members of a coven using dark magic to force a teen boy to kill himself each year. The suicides are a sacrifice, renewing a protective spell the coven placed on Summerton to protect it from the economic hardships that have befallen neighboring resort towns. The stakes escalate when they discover that the coven has chosen a Japanese tourist very much taken with Janna to be the next victim, putting the young detective team in a race against time. A teen noir hinging on the discovery of witchcraft could easily fall into self-conscious cutesiness or collapse under the weight of its own self-seriousness, but Healey (Guardian of the Dead, 2010) seamlessly integrates noir and fantasy tropes to explore issues of suicide, trust, sexuality, race, insecurity and free will in a way that feels fresh.

Less a whodunit than a "how do we stop it!?", this fantasy-steeped mystery should appeal to fans of Franny Billingsley's Chime (2011) and Holly Black's Curse Workers series. (Paranormal suspense. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-316-12572-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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

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

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A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.

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FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER

Testing the strength of family bonds is never easy—and lies make it even harder.

Daunis is trying to balance her two communities: The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, teen is constantly adapting, whether she is with her Anishinaabe father’s side of the family, the Firekeepers, or the Fontaines, her White mother’s wealthy relatives. She has grand plans for her future, as she wants to become a doctor, but has decided to defer her plans to go away for college because her maternal grandmother is recovering from a stroke. Daunis spends her free time playing hockey with her Firekeeper half brother, Levi, but tragedy strikes, and she discovers someone is selling a dangerous new form of meth—and the bodies are piling up. While trying to figure out who is behind this, Daunis pulls away from her family, covering up where she has been and what she has been doing. While dealing with tough topics like rape, drugs, racism, and death, this book balances the darkness with Ojibwe cultural texture and well-crafted characters. Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what’s going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief.

A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76656-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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