Fast-paced, with nonstop action set in a fascinating urban fantasy world of Dublin under siege, this is a smart, bold and...

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When the ancient Fae of Irish legend break down the walls between their world and ours, a 14-year-old girl creates an odd alliance of monsters and men to save humanity and her beloved city of Dublin.

Dani “Mega” O’Malley isn’t your typical teenager, a fact most humans of the post-apocalyptic AWC (After the Wall Crash) world would be grateful for if they knew how dedicated she is to fighting the Dark Fae, the creatures who destroyed their world and are taking over the human realm. And if the usual shadowy figures who roam the Earth aren’t enough, now some devilish creature is flash-freezing masses of people, leaving no clues as to why or how.  Dani is only 14, but her beauty, mad survival and fighting skills, and zest for life have attracted the notice of some enigmatic, powerful alpha males. Dani is always skirting danger, but entering her teen years, her edgy lifestyle becomes even more complicated when her spiking hormones wreak havoc on her emotional equilibrium—really bad timing, since she needs her wits about her more than ever as she juggles an enigmatic nightclub owner, an infatuated half-blood Fae prince and her boy-genius best friend, while tracking down this new, dangerous villain who threatens to destroy what’s left of Dublin. Then there’s her ex–best friend, who wants to kill her, and the police chief who’s determined to take her most potent weapon, and a thousand other things that can slay a girl if she lets her guard down for even a second. The newest addition to the popular urban fantasy series Fever and the first of a planned trilogy with Dani O’Malley as the main character, this is a gripping story that combines excellent storytelling with believable characters that are rendered both superhuman and superbly human, with emotional fragility and psychological vulnerability, in an unstable world fraught with danger. Dani is young here, and we see the road being paved for increased emotional and sexual conflict later in the series.

Fast-paced, with nonstop action set in a fascinating urban fantasy world of Dublin under siege, this is a smart, bold and textured success.

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34440-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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King fans won’t be disappointed, though most will likely prefer the scarier likes of The Shining and It.

THE INSTITUTE

The master of modern horror returns with a loose-knit parapsychological thriller that touches on territory previously explored in Firestarter and Carrie.

Tim Jamieson is a man emphatically not in a hurry. As King’s (The Outsider, 2018, etc.) latest opens, he’s bargaining with a flight attendant to sell his seat on an overbooked run from Tampa to New York. His pockets full, he sticks out his thumb and winds up in the backwater South Carolina town of DuPray (should we hear echoes of “pray”? Or “depraved”?). Turns out he’s a decorated cop, good at his job and at reading others (“You ought to go see Doc Roper,” he tells a local. “There are pills that will brighten your attitude”). Shift the scene to Minneapolis, where young Luke Ellis, precociously brilliant, has been kidnapped by a crack extraction team, his parents brutally murdered so that it looks as if he did it. Luke is spirited off to Maine—this is King, so it’s got to be Maine—and a secret shadow-government lab where similarly conscripted paranormally blessed kids, psychokinetic and telepathic, are made to endure the Skinnerian pain-and-reward methods of the evil Mrs. Sigsby. How to bring the stories of Tim and Luke together? King has never minded detours into the unlikely, but for this one, disbelief must be extra-willingly suspended. In the end, their forces joined, the two and their redneck allies battle the sophisticated secret agents of The Institute in a bloodbath of flying bullets and beams of mental energy (“You’re in the south now, Annie had told these gunned-up interlopers. She had an idea they were about to find out just how true that was"). It’s not King at his best, but he plays on current themes of conspiracy theory, child abuse, the occult, and Deep State malevolence while getting in digs at the current occupant of the White House, to say nothing of shadowy evil masterminds with lisps.

King fans won’t be disappointed, though most will likely prefer the scarier likes of The Shining and It.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9821-1056-7

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Not his best, but a spooky pleasure for King’s boundless legion of fans.

THE OUTSIDER

Horrormeister King (End of Watch, 2016, etc.) serves up a juicy tale that plays at the forefront of our current phobias, setting a police procedural among the creepiest depths of the supernatural.

If you’re a little squeamish about worms, you’re really not going to like them after accompanying King through his latest bit of mayhem. Early on, Ralph Anderson, a detective in the leafy Midwestern burg of Flint City, is forced to take on the unpleasant task of busting Terry Maitland, a popular teacher and Little League coach and solid citizen, after evidence links him to the most unpleasant violation and then murder of a young boy: “His throat was just gone,” says the man who found the body. “Nothing there but a red hole. His bluejeans and underpants were pulled down to his ankles, and I saw something….” Maitland protests his innocence, even as DNA points the way toward an open-and-shut case, all the way up to the point where he leaves the stage—and it doesn’t help Anderson’s world-weariness when the evil doesn’t stop once Terry’s in the ground. Natch, there’s a malevolent presence abroad, one that, after taking a few hundred pages to ferret out, will remind readers of King’s early novel It. Snakes, guns, metempsychosis, gangbangers, possessed cops, side tours to jerkwater Texas towns, all figure in King’s concoction, a bloodily Dantean denunciation of pedophilia. King skillfully works in references to current events (Black Lives Matter) and long-standing memes (getting plowed into by a runaway car), and he’s at his best, as always, when he’s painting a portrait worthy of Brueghel of the ordinary gone awry: “June Gibson happened to be the woman who had made the lasagna Arlene Peterson dumped over her head before suffering her heart attack.” Indeed, but overturned lasagna pales in messiness compared to when the evil entity’s head caves in “as if it had been made of papier-mâché rather than bone.” And then there are those worms. Yuck.

Not his best, but a spooky pleasure for King’s boundless legion of fans.

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-8098-9

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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