Fast-paced and gripping—a stellar opening to a new sci-fi adventure series focused on social justice.

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IGNITE THE STARS

From the Ignite the Stars series , Vol. 1

A 17-year-old girl is the universe’s most wanted criminal in Milan’s exhilarating debut.

After surrendering herself to the imperialist Olympus Commonwealth that is responsible for her home planet’s destruction, golden-skinned, black-haired Ia Cocha is forced to join the Royal Star Force Academy on Aphelion. Upon arrival, the notorious expert pilot is feared by her peers and immediately plots her escape. Naturally blue-haired Brinn Tarver, a Commonwealth citizen who conceals her half-Tawny heritage out of fear, enrolls in the Academy and is devastated to discover that her roommate is Ia. Meanwhile, blond-haired and blue-eyed Flight Master Knives has lost faith in the Royal Star Force after his sister died on a mission and receives a remote control for a device implanted on Ia’s heart. All three protagonists’ alliances come under question as they begin to empathize with one another and dissect their political beliefs surrounding the treatment of refugee groups. Meanwhile, a slaving nation known as the Armada drives the plot forward as it takes over Ia’s turf in Dead Space. Ia is a kick-ass fighter and complex heroine whose hot-and-cold attitude is often aimed at introspective Brinn, who has the greatest potential for growth. Knives comes close to being just a convenient love interest, but a future installment may redeem him.

Fast-paced and gripping—a stellar opening to a new sci-fi adventure series focused on social justice. (Science fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8075-3625-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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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

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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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