This final installment offers more than the usual complement of cliffhangers, daring escapes, and surprises; fans of this...

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RUBY REDFORT BLINK AND YOU DIE

From the Ruby Redfort series , Vol. 6

The young agent and codebreaking genius, recruited by the secret Spectrum organization, risks life and limb to uncover the traitor within its ranks.

With Spectrum agents sidelined while the traitor remains at large, Ruby’s forced to take survival-training classes. (Lessons in surviving an avalanche and avoiding hypothermia soon come in handy.) Is the traitor the same evildoer who terrifies even an archvillain like the Count? The answer may lie in Spectrum’s only other child spy, Bradley Baker. Ruby’s research takes her to Spectrum’s well-protected underwater vault on Meteor Island, where she learns that Baker, believed killed in a plane crash, may still be alive. Ruby’s familiar sidekicks return: loyal friend Clancy; housekeeper and TV bingo addict Mrs. Digby; Ruby’s clueless parents; and Hitch, posing as the family butler to keep an eye on Ruby. As clues pile up, new dangers loom; Ruby evades them with panache and nifty high-tech gadgetry, including a bicycle with a hyperspeed setting and a fur cape that doubles as a parachute. Readers can try a few codes that Ruby cracks (they’re explained in an afterword). Ruby’s world remains a largely white one; its decidedly retro atmosphere (a 1970s California that feels more like the ’50s) is reinforced by the narrative’s meandering pace, asides, and non sequiturs.

This final installment offers more than the usual complement of cliffhangers, daring escapes, and surprises; fans of this droll, quirky, and sui generis series won’t be disappointed. (note) (Mystery. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5472-6

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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AKATA WITCH

Who can't love a story about a Nigerian-American 12-year-old with albinism who discovers latent magical abilities and saves the world? Sunny lives in Nigeria after spending the first nine years of her life in New York. She can't play soccer with the boys because, as she says, "being albino made the sun my enemy," and she has only enemies at school. When a boy in her class, Orlu, rescues her from a beating, Sunny is drawn in to a magical world she's never known existed. Sunny, it seems, is a Leopard person, one of the magical folk who live in a world mostly populated by ignorant Lambs. Now she spends the day in mundane Lamb school and sneaks out at night to learn magic with her cadre of Leopard friends: a handsome American bad boy, an arrogant girl who is Orlu’s childhood friend and Orlu himself. Though Sunny's initiative is thin—she is pushed into most of her choices by her friends and by Leopard adults—the worldbuilding for Leopard society is stellar, packed with details that will enthrall readers bored with the same old magical worlds. Meanwhile, those looking for a touch of the familiar will find it in Sunny's biggest victories, which are entirely non-magical (the detailed dynamism of Sunny's soccer match is more thrilling than her magical world saving). Ebulliently original. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 14, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01196-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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By turns touching and pulse-pounding, this conclusion will leave fans fully satisfied.

ISLAND OF DOOM

From the Hunchback Assignments series , Vol. 4

Modo is back for one last adventure.

Horrendously ugly, but superhumanly strong and able to change his face and form briefly, Modo has been a valuable agent of the Permanent Association, a secret group dedicated to protecting Britannia. But three months after The Empire of Ruins (2011), he has been effectively suspended from duty for disobeying Mr. Socrates, the man who has raised but never parented Modo. When French teen agent Colette (The Dark Deeps, 2010) contacts Modo, he and Octavia, along with Mr. Socrates and Tharpa, are drawn back into conflict with the wicked Clockwork Guild, which seeks to bring down the British Empire and everyone else as well. The Guild has continued to advance, with resurrected creatures made from dead bodies (think Frankenstein's monster); meanwhile, the Association has powerful steam-powered, armor-clad soldiers of their own, who were once the children harnessed by the Guild to bring down Parliament (The Hunchback Assignments, 2009). Adding to the drama, Modo’s parents may be alive, and Colette and Octavia vie for his attention despite his true, awful face. Beneath the action runs the question of “who am I”; while the answer may prove elusive, this final showdown helps Modo face the question and begin to answer it for himself.

By turns touching and pulse-pounding, this conclusion will leave fans fully satisfied. (Steampunk. 11-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-73787-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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