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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A dark and enthralling journey.

VESPERTINE

In a land threatened by violent spirits, a girl with a haunted past unleashes an ancient entity from a holy relic and strikes a deal for the power to save her home.

Ever since the Sorrow, the dead no longer pass on peacefully. Without the intervention of the Clerisy of the Gray Lady, they roam as destructive spirits. Artemisia of Naimes, gifted with the ability to see the spirits, never intends to leave her convent, where the walls protect her from possession and (Lady forbid) social interaction. Her plans crumble when a group of possessed soldiers attack her home. Reluctantly, Artemisia unseals a legendary relic, binding herself to a revenant, an undead being with immense power. Untrained in controlling spirits and desperate to protect her home, she bargains with the revenant to help her. Amid escalating danger and an unfolding mystery, Rogerson unveils a grim and intriguing world with a rich, plot-relevant history inspired by late-medieval France. In addition to the White protagonist, the narration describes several secondary characters with brown skin; the revenant is identified as “it,” while human characters in this world adhere to a gender binary. Artemisia experiences dynamic character growth as her understandings of trauma, history, and morality shift. Although she remains socially avoidant, she learns to value friendship. A satisfying but open-ended resolution demands for the story to continue.

A dark and enthralling journey. (glossary) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-7711-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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For fans of brooding bad boys and the pastel goth accidental necromancers who love them.

THE WHISPERING DARK

A deaf scholarship student at an occult university is plagued by ghosts.

Delaney Meyers-Petrov is so done with being treated like she’s fragile, but she’s not sure if she can hack it at Howe University, where the interdimensional travel program is mostly White, old-money kids who’ve been training for this their whole lives. Between the school’s lack of accommodations and her own internalized ableism, she is struggling, and her cochlear implant doesn’t help enough for her to keep up. Laney’s grateful for assistance from her (hot, muscular, rude) TA, Colton Price, but he hates her for some reason. Little does Laney know that Colton’s part of an occult boys’ club which plays with the boundary of death itself—a boundary Colton’s already crossed once. Laney, a girl with an extremely deliberate goth-adorable aesthetic, is well served by the purple prose (“the shadow-bitten arch of the doorway,” “suckling on the teat of decay”) and dialogue that wobbles between angst and snark in the style of teen paranormal television. Her unusual necromantic powers make her an irresistible target for the power players at Howe (where every figure with power and authority is male, and her peers and allies are all female), but at least Colton is sexy while he deceives and manipulates her. The worldbuilding is shaky but the romantic agita and ironic wit are present in spades. Most characters default to White.

For fans of brooding bad boys and the pastel goth accidental necromancers who love them. (Paranormal romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-80947-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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