From the Sea Serpent's Heir series , Vol. 2

This exciting sequel will engage both trilogy fans and newcomers alike.

Aella has discovered that she is the reincarnation of the Black Wave, a world-devouring sea serpent called Xir—and with Xir’s power, she plans to take revenge on the Church of the First Light.

Two weeks after the conclusion of the first book, the story begins with Aella recovering from not only a battle, but from betrayal, the discovery of her connection to Xir, and the loss of her mother. When assassins attacked her ship, Aella decided to embrace her destiny as Xir, taking up the captain’s mantle left by her mother and vowing to avenge her death by destroying the Church of the First Light. Following her recovery, Aella and her crew set off to amass an army of pirates and mercenaries to take on their foe; their plan is to strike down the church’s monasteries and priests before they can send more killers after Aella. Whether this plan of revenge is more Aella’s or Xir’s remains to be seen, however. This story has a lightning-fast pace and doesn’t leave readers wanting. Each character has a unique voice, which translates gorgeously through facial expressions and body language. The original, sketchy art style; vibrant colors; and panel-breaking effects create an engaging visual experience. Human and humanoid characters are diverse in appearance.

This exciting sequel will engage both trilogy fans and newcomers alike. (summary of Book 1, maps) (Graphic fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9781534399938

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Image Comics

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023


From the Girl of Fire and Thorns series , Vol. 1

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel,...

Adventure drags our heroine all over the map of fantasyland while giving her the opportunity to use her smarts.

Elisa—Princess Lucero-Elisa de Riqueza of Orovalle—has been chosen for Service since the day she was born, when a beam of holy light put a Godstone in her navel. She's a devout reader of holy books and is well-versed in the military strategy text Belleza Guerra, but she has been kept in ignorance of world affairs. With no warning, this fat, self-loathing princess is married off to a distant king and is embroiled in political and spiritual intrigue. War is coming, and perhaps only Elisa's Godstone—and knowledge from the Belleza Guerra—can save them. Elisa uses her untried strategic knowledge to always-good effect. With a character so smart that she doesn't have much to learn, body size is stereotypically substituted for character development. Elisa’s "mountainous" body shrivels away when she spends a month on forced march eating rat, and thus she is a better person. Still, it's wonderfully refreshing to see a heroine using her brain to win a war rather than strapping on a sword and charging into battle.

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel, reminiscent of Naomi Kritzer's Fires of the Faithful (2002), keeps this entry fresh. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-202648-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011


From the Nyxia Triad series , Vol. 1

Fast-moving and intriguing though inconsistent on multiple fronts.

Kids endure rigorous competition aboard a spaceship.

When Babel Communications invites 10 teens to participate in “the most serious space exploration known to mankind,” Emmett signs on. Surely it’s the jackpot: they’ll each receive $50,000 every month for life, and Emmett’s mother will get a kidney transplant, otherwise impossible for poor people. They head through space toward the planet Eden, where they’ll mine a substance called nyxia, “the new black gold.” En route, the corporation forces them into brutal competition with one another—fighting, running through violent virtual reality racecourses, and manipulating nyxia, which can become almost anything. It even forms language-translating facemasks, allowing Emmett, a black boy from Detroit, to communicate with competitors from other countries. Emmett's initial understanding of his own blackness may throw readers off, but a black protagonist in outer space is welcome. Awkward moments in the smattering of black vernacular are rare. Textual descriptions can be scanty; however, copious action and a reality TV atmosphere (the scoreboard shows regularly) make the pace flow. Emmett’s first-person voice is immediate and innocent: he realizes that Babel’s ruthless and coldblooded but doesn’t apply that to his understanding of what’s really going on. Readers will guess more than he does, though most confirmation waits for the next installment—this ends on a cliffhanger.

Fast-moving and intriguing though inconsistent on multiple fronts. (Science fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-55679-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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