A dark and exciting paranormal adventure that will keep patient genre fans up late.

DREAMFIRE

From the Dream Walker Trilogy series , Vol. 1

Joshlyn is expert at entering and resolving others’ nightmares, but there’s a new and forceful evil plaguing the Dream world that even she can’t beat.

Dream walkers can die within others’ nightmares, but without their intervention, the balance between the Dream and the World will be disrupted with disastrous consequences. Josh comes from a long line of dream walkers, but she carries with her the responsibility of her boyfriend’s death. So when she’s assigned an apprentice, Will, on her 17th birthday, she balks at the responsibility and intimacy. Will proves to be a worthy partner, however, when a pair of evil, trench-coated men with completely black eyes and carrying gas masks invades the Dream universe, rendering dreamers comatose in both realms. As the plot deepens, Will and Josh barely have time to pay attention to their growing fondness for each other. It becomes increasingly clear that Josh’s role in the battle is her ultimate destiny as these black-eyed creatures cross the veil into the waking World. Alloway explores the complexities of dream-walking politics in detail, with the result that worldbuilding feels laborious rather than organic. Between this and a plethora of characters, the plot drags, but the nightmare vignettes are rivetingly chilling.

A dark and exciting paranormal adventure that will keep patient genre fans up late. (Paranormal romance. 13-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-06366-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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Heart-pounding.

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CEMETERY BOYS

A gay, transgender brujo with burgeoning powers seeks answers about his cousin’s death.

Sixteen-year-old Yadriel also wishes for acknowledgement from his community but unexpectedly finds himself entangled in the unresolved wishes of a strong-willed, good-looking spirit. He descends from a long line of brujx who have been granted magic power by Lady Death to heal the living and to guide spirits into the afterlife. Although he’s grown up surrounded by a close-knit community, Yadriel feels alone, excluded indefinitely from a sacred rite of passage because he is transgender. When he senses that his cousin Miguel has died suddenly but the family can’t locate him, Yadriel sees an opportunity to prove to everyone he’s a true brujo by solving the mystery and releasing his cousin’s lost spirit. His plan quickly falls apart, as he accidentally summons the spirit of Julian Diaz, a boy with unfinished business who died the same day as Miguel. Both the romance and mystery burn slow and hot until the climax. Stakes begin high, and the intensity only increases with a looming deadline and a constant risk that Julian might lose himself, turning maligno. The cast of characters represents a diversity of Latinx identities sharing a community in East Los Angeles. Julian is Colombian while Yadriel is Cuban and Mexican. Their romance provides joyful, ground-breaking representation for gay, transgender boys.

Heart-pounding. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-25046-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Swoon Reads/Macmillan

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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