A chilling way to turn screen time into scream time.

THE GLARE

Teens discover a computer game said to be deadly.

When Hedda’s mother needs to visit a sick friend, Hedda gets to leave the technology-free desert ranch she’s been sequestered at since she was 6 to stay with her tech-developer father in California. Based on Hedda’s neurological episodes which prompted the desert move, her mother’s convinced that “the Glare,” Hedda’s childhood nickname for technology, is addictive and dangerous. Plagued by strange nightmares and some missing memories, Hedda wants to go to a real school and be a regular teen, and so she takes advantage of the temporary move to give technology another try. But when she finds a mysterious message written by her child-self, she ends up on the Dark Web encountering a game called the Glare. By the time she learns the creepypasta viral legend about it (if you die 13 times on the unbeatable 13th level, you die for real), it’s already too late—and worse, it’s gotten out to her fledgling circle of friends. The psychological manipulations mirror augmented reality games, and the theories behind the game are built on too-real conditioning techniques used by ads, games, and social media. The teens struggle to tell what’s real, what can hurt (or kill) them, and if they can escape. The expertly balanced reality-blurring storyline and strategic technology depictions seed psychological scares that will linger long after reading. Side characters’ names signal ethnic diversity.

A chilling way to turn screen time into scream time. (Horror/science fiction. 12-adult)

Pub Date: July 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-00565-4

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion/LBYR

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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A wild ride both fantastical and grounded in nuance.

RULE OF WOLVES

From the King of Scars Duology series , Vol. 2

Following King of Scars (2019), the world’s a powder keg of political hostilities and existential threats.

In a juggling act between viewpoint characters, readers follow far-ranging intrigues inside countries, between countries, and between individuals. King Nikolai faces imminent threats from Fjerda, rumors of his bastardy that threaten to dethrone him, complicated trade relations with both Zemeni and Kerch, and an engagement to Princess Ehri of Shu Han—despite her sister, Queen Makhi, having schemed to kill both of them. Zoya, Nikolai’s loyal general, is handed a series of nigh-impossible assignments, including some having to do with the Darkling. Meanwhile, deeply embedded Nina spies on Fjerda, working to undermine the rumors surrounding Nikolai’s parentage, uncover Fjerda’s military plans, manipulate their royals toward a more peaceful path, and secretly sway the population’s view of Grisha. And all over the world, a mysterious blight suddenly appears, destroying everything in its path. Sprinklings of recaps and lots of action help to prevent the massively intricate world from becoming overwhelming. Battles in particular shine, not just for their action, but for the questions they pose about the direction of warfare in an arms race. The multiethnic cast that includes queer characters and relationships showcases a White-passing biracial character grappling with identity and another character’s trans-coded journey. A big finish manages to tidy up almost all ends but still leaves space for more to come.

A wild ride both fantastical and grounded in nuance. (Orders of Grisha guide, map) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 30, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-14230-6

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.

FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER

Testing the strength of family bonds is never easy—and lies make it even harder.

Daunis is trying to balance her two communities: The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, teen is constantly adapting, whether she is with her Anishinaabe father’s side of the family, the Firekeepers, or the Fontaines, her White mother’s wealthy relatives. She has grand plans for her future, as she wants to become a doctor, but has decided to defer her plans to go away for college because her maternal grandmother is recovering from a stroke. Daunis spends her free time playing hockey with her Firekeeper half brother, Levi, but tragedy strikes, and she discovers someone is selling a dangerous new form of meth—and the bodies are piling up. While trying to figure out who is behind this, Daunis pulls away from her family, covering up where she has been and what she has been doing. While dealing with tough topics like rape, drugs, racism, and death, this book balances the darkness with Ojibwe cultural texture and well-crafted characters. Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what’s going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief.

A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76656-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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