A fast-paced thriller full of twists and surprises.

READ REVIEW

DEVIL DARLING SPY

From the Orphan Monster Spy series , Vol. 2

Evil wears many faces.

In this fast-paced sequel to Orphan Monster Spy (2018), Killeen brings back Jewish German Sarah and the British Captain, spies who aim to keep biological warfare out of the hands of the Axis powers during World War II. In order to thwart a plan between Shirō Ishii, a Japanese army surgeon, and SS-Obersturmbannführer Kurt Hasse to wreak biological havoc across the globe, 16-year-old Sarah, the Captain, and Clementine, their new servant of French and Senegalese descent, travel to central Africa. Their goal is to locate the White Devil who is rumored to be spreading a highly contagious disease that causes relentless bleeding, ultimately resulting in death. Their travels take them deep into the Congo, where they pretend to be missionaries. While Sarah works with German missionaries who are already there to treat the plague, Clementine educates her on the complexities of evil. Sarah must determine what—or who—the actual threat to humanity is. As not all people are who they present themselves to be, Sarah uses her wits and spy training to protect the world from pestilence. Unfortunately, Clementine’s character is not well developed and her emotions are not nuanced; she comes across as embodying negative stereotypes of black women, appearing mean, hard, and, at times, cruel.

A fast-paced thriller full of twists and surprises. (author’s note) (Historical thriller. 13-17)

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-451-47925-9

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A purple page turner.

CLOCKWORK PRINCE

From the Infernal Devices series , Vol. 2

This sequel to Clockwork Angel (2010) pits gorgeous, attractively broken teens against a menacing evil.

There's betrayal, mayhem and clockwork monstrosities, and the Shadowhunters have only two weeks to discover—oh, who are we kidding? The plot is only surprisingly tasty icing on this cupcake of a melodramatic love triangle. Our heroes are Tessa, who may or may not be a warlock, and the beautiful Shadowhunter warrior boys who are moths to her forbidden flame. It's not always clear why Tessa prefers Will to his beloved (and only) friend Jem, the dying, silver-eyed, biracial sweetheart with the face of an angel. Jem, after all, is gentle and kind, her dearest confidante; Will is unpleasant to everyone around him. But poor, wretched Will—who "would have been pretty if he had not been so tall and so muscular"—has a deep, dark, thoroughly emo secret. His trauma puts all previous romantic difficulties to shame, from the Capulet/Montague feud all the way to Edward Cullen's desire to chomp on Bella Swan. Somehow there's room for an interesting steampunk mystery amid all this angst. The supporting characters (unusually well-developed for a love-triangle romance) include multiple compelling young women who show strength in myriad ways. So what if there are anachronisms, character inconsistencies and weird tonal slips? There's too much overwrought fun to care.

A purple page turner. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7588-5

Page Count: 528

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Though no punches are pulled about the unimaginable atrocity of the death camps, a life-affirming history

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner

THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ

A teenage girl imprisoned in Auschwitz keeps the secret library of a forbidden school.

Dita Adlerova, 14, is confined in the notorious extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Compared to her fellow inmates, Dita’s relatively lucky. The several thousand residents of camp BIIb are inexplicably allowed to keep their own clothing, their hair, and, most importantly, their children. A young man named Fredy Hirsch maintains a school in BIIb, right under the noses of the Nazis. In Fredy’s classroom, Dita discovers something wonderful: a dangerous collection of eight smuggled books. The tale, based on the real life of Dita Polach Kraus and the events of 1944 and 1945, intertwines the stories of several real people: Dita, Fredy, several little-known war heroes, even a grim cameo from Anne and Margot Frank. Holocaust-knowledgeable readers will have suspicions about how many characters will die horribly (spoiler alert: this is Auschwitz). Yet somehow, myriad storylines told by multiple narrators offer compelling narrative tension. Why does BIIb exist? Will Rudi and Alice have a romance? What’s Fredy’s secret? Will Dr. Mengele subject Dita to his grotesque experiments? Dita’s matter-of-fact perspective, set in a slow build from BIIb to the chaotic starvation of the war’s end, both increases the horror and makes it bearable to read.

Though no punches are pulled about the unimaginable atrocity of the death camps, a life-affirming history . (Historical fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-618-7

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more