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

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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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Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.

CHAIN OF GOLD

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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