A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET

L'Engle's irksomely superior Murry family reassembles here for Thanksgiving dinner, about ten years after Meg and Charles Wallace braved the Wrinkle in Time to rescue their scientist father from malevolent cosmic forces. Now Mother has her Nobel prize; the mundane twins are in law and med schools, respectively; Meg is married to old friend Calvin O'Keefe and happily pregnant (but more bland and vacuous than she ever was before); Father is a confidant of the President, who calls him now simply to unload his worry about the imminent nuclear war threats of South American dictator Mad Dog Branzillo; and precocious Charles Wallace, now 15, leaves his tesseract model and goes off to his star-watching rock to see what he can do to avert disaster. There, with the wind making the decisions and the evil echthroi trying to catch him en route, Charles rides a unicorn back in time and goes "Within" a series of individual consciousnesses. Through these psychic stopovers L'Engle tells of two Welsh brothers who came here before Columbus and fought over an Indian maid, and of their descendants from Puritan times straight on down to Mrs. O'Keefe—now Meg's bitter, inarticulate mother-in-law, who has roused herself just long enough to provide Charles with a rune and charge him with the mission. The idea, according to the unicorn, is for Charles to influence a Might-Have-Been which determines whether Branzillo is descended from the good or the bad line, and thus (?!) whether he will or will not start a nuclear war—a shaky if not asinine premise on which to build an earth-tilting adventure. The Madoc-Maddok-Maddox-Mad Dog family saga grows in interest as Charles gradually figures out all the connections, but—though his mission succeeds somewhere in the 19th century—we never see him as anything but a passive, if uniquely present, onlooker. Meg's role is even more passive and less engaging, as she alternates between wringing her hands in the family kitchen and stroking a strange dog on her attic bed while fretfully following Charles Wallace's adventures in her "kything" mind.

Pub Date: July 1, 1978

ISBN: 0374373620

Page Count: 294

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1978

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2018

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    finalist

  • New York Times Bestseller

CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.

CHAIN OF GOLD

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more