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RETURN TO ATLANTIS

From the Atlantis series , Vol. 2

A second volume that drags a little but will please returning fans.

Ex-Atlanteans make a desperate bid to return to their hidden home in the Bermuda Triangle after finding nothing but cold hearts and violence in Denver.

Shortly after leading an Escape From Atlantis (2021) with her cousin, Alfie, and a small group of formerly human island residents who were transformed into talking animals, Riley is regretting her flight. This is partly because her companions are permanently stuck hiding from suspicious authorities in her mom’s house; partly because her former school friends have turned mean, cruelly ostracizing and bullying secretive new student Jill for being ragged and unwashed; and partly because a vicious punk’s terrifying assault during a rare nighttime outing has escalated into vengeful stalking. More worrisomely, the longer Riley and her companions are away from Atlantis, the more mysteriously ill they are becoming. Violent events spur a hasty departure for Florida with parentally abandoned Jill and her five siblings in tow. But Atlantis, once finally reached, turns out to be far from the utopian community of Riley’s rosy memories: Hardly have the arrivals settled in than she takes on the role of savior, surviving a murder attempt before insisting on critical reforms. O’Hearn assumes readers will be familiar with the opener, but though the pacing sometimes drags in this long sequel, she continues to keep both the issues and the characterizations simple—and adds a cute baby unicorn to the White-presenting human cast and large menagerie.

A second volume that drags a little but will please returning fans. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5694-5

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2022

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LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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THE LION OF LARK-HAYES MANOR

A pleasing premise for book lovers.

A fantasy-loving bookworm makes a wonderful, terrible bargain.

When sixth grader Poppy Woodlock’s historic preservationist parents move the family to the Oregon coast to work on the titular stately home, Poppy’s sure she’ll find magic. Indeed, the exiled water nymph in the manor’s ruined swimming pool grants a wish, but: “Magic isn’t free. It cosssts.” The price? Poppy’s favorite book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In return she receives Sampson, a winged lion cub who is everything Poppy could have hoped for. But she soon learns that the nymph didn’t take just her own physical book—she erased Narnia from Poppy’s world. And it’s just the first loss: Soon, Poppy’s grandmother’s journal’s gone, then The Odyssey, and more. The loss is heartbreaking, but Sampson’s a wonderful companion, particularly as Poppy’s finding middle school a tough adjustment. Hartman’s premise is beguiling—plenty of readers will identify with Poppy, both as a fellow bibliophile and as a kid struggling to adapt. Poppy’s repeatedly expressed faith that unveiling Sampson will bring some sort of vindication wears thin, but that does not detract from the central drama. It’s a pity that the named real-world books Poppy reads are notably lacking in diversity; a story about the power of literature so limited in imagination lets both itself and readers down. Main characters are cued White; there is racial diversity in the supporting cast. Chapters open with atmospheric spot art. (This review has been updated to reflect the final illustrations.)

A pleasing premise for book lovers. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9780316448222

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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