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MISTER IMPOSSIBLE

From the Dreamer Trilogy series , Vol. 2

Explosive.

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Whether dreamed or crafted, art engenders life.

Creation and destruction, art and mimicry, power and disenfranchisement: The world requires balance, but the Lynch brothers, standing at the center of it all, have always tended to extremes. Although Ronan continues to be the pivot, the dreams take precedence: Jordan finds herself as a maker rather than a forger while Matthew grapples with who he is now that he understands he was dreamed. Power dynamics have shifted following the showdown between the dreamers and the Moderators. Three groups—the dreamers, the dreams, plus a rogue Moderator/Visionary team, each selfish, amoral, and deeply sympathetic in turn—circle one another, trying to change or save the world, or dreams, or themselves, or all of the above. The dreamers want open ley lines and the freedom to dream. The dreamed want to live free of their dreamers. Farooq-Lane wants to stop killing but still stop the dreamers. More meditative than the first volume, this complexly plotted wonder offers little to reorient readers but much to engage them. Stiefvater’s pitch-perfect prose, detached and full of precise details, creates a tension that never lets up until the zinger of an ending that will leave fans gasping. The Lynch brothers are White; Jordan is Black, and Farooq-Lane’s name cues some Middle Eastern heritage.

Explosive. (Fantasy. 13-adult)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-18836-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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DIVINE RIVALS

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy.

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A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives.

In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother’s losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clichéd tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world.

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-85743-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

POWERLESS

From the Powerless Trilogy series , Vol. 1

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes.

The Plague has left a population divided between Elites and Ordinaries—those who have powers and those who don’t; now, an Ordinary teen fights for her life.

Paedyn Gray witnessed the king kill her father five years ago, and she’s been thieving and sleeping rough ever since, all while faking Psychic abilities. When she inadvertently saves the life of Prince Kai, she becomes embroiled in the Purging Trials, a competition to commemorate the sickness that killed most of the kingdom’s Ordinaries. Kai’s duties as the future Enforcer include eradicating any remaining Ordinaries, and these Trials are his chance to prove that he’s internalized his brutal training. But Kai can’t help but find Pae’s blue eyes, silver hair, and unabashed attitude enchanting. She likewise struggles to resist his stormy gray eyes, dark hair, and rakish behavior, even as they’re pitted against each other in the Trials and by the king himself. Scenes and concepts that are strongly reminiscent of the Hunger Games fall flat: They aren’t bolstered by the original’s heart or worldbuilding logic that would have justified a few extreme story elements. Illogical leaps and inconsistent characterizations abound, with lighthearted romantic interludes juxtaposed against genocide, child abuse, and sadism. These elements, which are not sufficiently addressed, combined with the use of ableist language, cannot be erased by any amount of romantic banter. Main characters are cued white; the supporting cast has some brown-skinned characters.

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9798987380406

Page Count: 538

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

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