A bracing drama that feels like a milestone for this series about a demonic war.

THE ANGEL OF EVIL

THE GREAT DEVIL WAR IV

This fourth volume of a YA fantasy series pits Lucifer’s sinister minions against the forces of the ruler of Enoch.

Thirteen-year-old Philip Engel dreams of simpler times. He longs to be helping his mother with dinner at home and preparing for a play with his crush, Sabrina, at school. Instead, he’s in hell, asleep in Lucifer’s castle. He knows that his friend Satina has been kidnapped by Aziel, upstart ruler of Enoch, or New Hell. Philip already saw his demonic friend Grumblebeard die and has no wish to lose the young tempter whom he loves. As a tempter himself, he now has horns, wings, and a tail—as well as the power to change his face. He dons the identity of Malthorn Dargue and infiltrates Enoch. Philip learns that Aziel keeps Satina in his temple, held under a spell of forgetfulness by the waters of the river Lethe. Aziel himself, bitten by Death’s snake, has aged “several hundred years” but eats green apples to gradually reverse the process. But worst of all is that Aziel has teamed up with Cain, brother of the biblical Abel and the world’s first murderer. The two diabolical figures, along with an army of mortal demons, plan their vengeance on Lucifer for taking their immortality. Andersen, in his series’ most epic installment, brings the drama to a rolling boil. The volume also contains his grisliest scenes yet, including one in which an innocent man who has no eyelids begs Philip for death. This effectively reminds readers that Lucifer is the lesser of two evils, and Aziel is a threat the evolving hero may or may not vanquish. The author still peppers his saga with puns, like the “Hornmones” taken by Hisser, a young devil hoping to grow larger horns. A flashback to the final argument between Lucifer and the Archangel Michael rings with grandeur (“The snow-white wings unfold, sparkling like sword-blades in the sunshine”). While some may find the violence gratuitous, Andersen does enjoy pushing boundaries—as when God tells Philip the meaning of life. Fans will undoubtedly expect some big surprises in the next volume.

A bracing drama that feels like a milestone for this series about a demonic war.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 321

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2020

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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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An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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