A bombastic, engaging start to a sequel series full of potential.

MONSTER

From the Gone series , Vol. 7

The Gone series continues.

It has been four years since the invisible dome created by an alien virus stunned the world and left hundreds of children to fend for themselves inside. Now, meteors are striking the Earth with even deadlier effects: mutating human beings into monsters. Some of these new mutants use their powers for selfish reasons, while others team up to use them for good. Meanwhile, shady government agencies are doing their best to contain the fallout. New characters and old favorites abound in this follow-up, which feels heavily influenced by comic books and the author’s pseudonymous work on the Animorphs series. Grant’s action sequences have improved, crisply composed here with exciting powers and a grounded sense of destruction. There are casualties, and the author doesn’t skip over the collateral damage these characters create. The psychological toll helps shade the author’s broad characterizations. The most complex and interesting characters are the ones brought over from the earlier books, but the new faces engage easily enough. The cast is fairly diverse, covering a wide variety of skin colors, sexual orientations, and gender identities. The setup for the sequel is blessedly minimal, growing naturally out of the story. Longtime fans will surely be excited by the novel’s final moments.

A bombastic, engaging start to a sequel series full of potential. (Science fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-246784-3

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes.

FIREBORNE

From the Aurelian Cycle series , Vol. 1

What happens to the world after the dust from a revolution has settled?

Friends Annie and Lee were children from very different circles when Atreus killed Lee’s father, dragonlord Leon Stormscourge, ending the uprising on the bloodiest day in Callipolis’ history. For too long the dragonriders held all the power while their people starved and lived in fear. Nine years later, a new generation of dragonriders is emerging, children selected and trained on merit, not bloodlines. Their dragons are finally mature enough for them to compete for Firstrider, a position of power that can give Lee back a small part of what his family lost. However, not only is Lee competing against Annie, but rumors are circulating that some of the royal family have survived and have dragons of their own. Everyone will have to make a choice: Restore the old regime, support the First Protector and the new caste system he created, or look for a new way, no matter what the cost. From the beginning, this book pulls readers in with political intrigue and action. What keeps them invested, however, are the complex relationships between many cast members. Choices are complex, and the consequences for all could be deadly. The world is well fleshed out and believable. Annie and Lee are light skinned; secondary characters are diverse, and race is a nonissue in this world.

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes. (author’s note) (Fantasy.14-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51821-1

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more