GOOL

From the Salt Trilogy series , Vol. 2

A generation after the events of Salt (2009), Hari and Pearl have raised their children (both biological and adopted) in freedom far from the nightmarish city of their own birth. Xantee, Pearl and Hari's oldest child, is the strongest mind-to-mind speaker of them all. Xantee needs all her strength when Hari is mortally wounded fighting an unnatural monster in the jungle. The beast—a gool, in the language of the mysterious "people with no name"—holds Hari at the brink of death. While Pearl keeps him barely alive, Xantee and her siblings begin a dangerous quest to the city of Hari's birth, in search of clues to the gools' weakness. Their journey takes them through injury, violence and death as these young people from an idyllic rural childhood must confront the wretched hatred of the city. Xantee's developing romance carries little emotional resonance, and most of the secondary characters lack depth. Nonetheless, the unexpected twists of this original fantasy adventure keep the pages turning. The fascinating buildup leads to a thrilling climax, followed by a bizarrely flat conclusion—perhaps preparing readers for the next volume. (Fantasy. 13-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-55469-214-9

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2010

THE LIMPING MAN

From the Salt Trilogy series , Vol. 3

The Salt trilogy closes with a third generation of children fighting petty but dangerous evils. Hana, a girl from the city's wretched Bawdhouse Burrow, is orphaned when her mother is burned as a witch. Ben grows up far from the city, raised by his grandparents Pearl and Hari in the idyllic village from Gool (2010). When Hana flees the city, she brings with her a terrifying message for those outside its darkness: The Limping Man is coming. He has the terrible power to make people love him even as he torments them, and he plans to wipe out all who stand against him. Since most of the outsiders—Ben's family, the forest Dwellers and "the people without a name"—have mental powers, the Limping Man intends to massacre them. Ben and Hana, along with their allies, must find the Limping Man's secret in order to save their own lives and homes. Ben and Hana’s victories, like those of their parents and grandparents, are local. Even if they do defeat the Limping Man, they cannot vanquish evil from the world; life in the burrows will likely continue to be nasty, brutish and short. The heroes' personalities are defined by their harsh environments, but they reach beyond those limitations. Fantasy heroes who can save only themselves and their loved ones are a welcome change from the usual. (Fantasy. 13-15)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-55469-216-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

ENCLAVE

A standard post-apocalyptic dystopia with enough rich worldbuilding to appeal to most lovers of the genre. Deuce is a Huntress trainee in the tunnels beneath the long-fallen ruins of New York City. Like the rest of the Hunters, Deuce wants only to provide her city with meat and protect it from the subhuman, zombielike Freaks. So why, oh, why did they need to appoint that weirdo Fade her hunting partner? He's from outside the enclave and never learned how to fit in the way Deuce wants to. With Fade by her side, Deuce can't help seeing cracks in the elders' façade of benevolent protectiveness. Soon the two must embark on a new adventure, to the not-so-abandoned city Topside. Up here, they need a whole new set of survival skills to protect them against everything from sunlight to violent gangs of rapists and thugs—not to mention the ever-present and growing packs of Freaks. The well-developed tension is marred only by recurring inexplicable references to what readers seem to be expected to recognize as one of the more obscure stories of Victorian fantasist George MacDonald, but these are only mild stumbling blocks. All in all, this well-paced zombie-esque adventure in an urban wasteland will keep fans happy. (Science fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: April 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-312-65008-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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