VULTURE’S WAKE

Across a barren post-apocalyptic landscape, Callum is running for his life. Kidnapped by outlaws and forced to perform in a traveling circus, he escapes in an effort to get back home. But there’s virtually nowhere to hide when he can’t run far or fast enough. He’s rescued by Bo, another young survivor, who joins Callum on the run. But the danger is now even more extreme, because Bo is a female…a gender thought wiped out by bird flu ages ago. Now they are running for more than their lives—they’re running to find not just safety but freedom in an entirely new world. Murray populates Callum’s world with futuristic terminology and gadgets (Callum has a toy iPenguin in which his fathers have left him a message, Bo has a clutch of roboraptors that do her hunting and they ride a peyote-fueled motorbike called a Daisy-May). This is an interesting premise, but it needs more pages and development to fully rise to its promise. With a strong start, this story will probably carry readers through to the end, even though the last half falters in pace and credibility. (Science fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8234-2282-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS

After Hitler appoints Bruno’s father commandant of Auschwitz, Bruno (nine) is unhappy with his new surroundings compared to the luxury of his home in Berlin. The literal-minded Bruno, with amazingly little political and social awareness, never gains comprehension of the prisoners (all in “striped pajamas”) or the malignant nature of the death camp. He overcomes loneliness and isolation only when he discovers another boy, Shmuel, on the other side of the camp’s fence. For months, the two meet, becoming secret best friends even though they can never play together. Although Bruno’s family corrects him, he childishly calls the camp “Out-With” and the Fuhrer “Fury.” As a literary device, it could be said to be credibly rooted in Bruno’s consistent, guileless characterization, though it’s difficult to believe in reality. The tragic story’s point of view is unique: the corrosive effect of brutality on Nazi family life as seen through the eyes of a naïf. Some will believe that the fable form, in which the illogical may serve the objective of moral instruction, succeeds in Boyle’s narrative; others will believe it was the wrong choice. Certain to provoke controversy and difficult to see as a book for children, who could easily miss the painful point. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-385-75106-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: David Fickling/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

CLOCKWORK ANGEL

From the Infernal Devices series , Vol. 1

A century before the events of Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy, another everyday heroine gets entangled with demon-slaying Shadowhunters. Sixteen-year-old orphaned Tessa comes to London to join her brother but is imprisoned by the grotesque Dark Sisters. The sisters train the unwilling Tessa in previously unknown shapeshifter abilities, preparing her to be a pawn in some diabolical plan. A timely rescue brings Tessa to the Institute, where a group of misfit Shadowhunters struggles to fight evil. Though details differ, the general flavor of Tessa’s new family will be enjoyably familiar to the earlier trilogy’s fans; the most important is Tessa’s rescuer Will, the gorgeous, sharp-tongued teenager with a mysterious past and a smile like “Lucifer might have smiled, moments before he fell from Heaven.” The lush, melodramatic urban fantasy setting of the Shadowhunter world morphs seamlessly into a steampunk Victorian past, and this new series provides the setup for what will surely be a climactic battle against hordes of demonically powered brass clockworks. The tale drags in places, but this crowdpleaser’s tension-filled conclusion ratchets toward a new set of mysteries. (Steampunk. 13-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7586-1

Page Count: 496

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more