THE REBELS OF NEW SUN

From the Blending Time series , Vol. 3

This conclusion to an exciting dystopia morphs from shoot’em-up into spy thriller as the titular rebels try to bring down the corporate tyranny established in their African territory.

Called back to the city where they first landed in Africa, Jaym, Reya and D’Shay separate and work to free their colleagues from a notorious prison and to foment an attack on GlobeTran, the corporation that has established an intrusive, ruthless dictatorship. The three friends split up, each working on separate missions. Reya goes undercover as a medic in the prison where two of her friends suffer. D’Shay starts selling contraband inside the local military base in an attempt to swing the soldiers there to New SUN’s side. Jaym, still morose after his fiancee’s death (The Fires of New SUN, 2012), reluctantly teams up with her sister to aid New SUN’s existing undercover network in the city. Kinch’s emphasis here is on intrigue rather than battles. The often stilted expository dialogue is compensated for by a few nifty robot foes, such as flying bugs and metallic dogs. These are in keeping with his futuristic setting, although most of the African town comes across as contemporary. Nevertheless, fans will identify with the three returning heroes and should enjoy the conclusion to the series, even though this story rarely mentions the series’ original premise of repopulating Africa. A satisfying conclusion. (Dystopian adventure. 12-16)

 

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7387-3151-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Heartbreaking, historical, and a little bit hopeful.

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SALT TO THE SEA

January 1945: as Russians advance through East Prussia, four teens’ lives converge in hopes of escape.

Returning to the successful formula of her highly lauded debut, Between Shades of Gray (2011), Sepetys combines research (described in extensive backmatter) with well-crafted fiction to bring to life another little-known story: the sinking (from Soviet torpedoes) of the German ship Wilhelm Gustloff. Told in four alternating voices—Lithuanian nurse Joana, Polish Emilia, Prussian forger Florian, and German soldier Alfred—with often contemporary cadences, this stints on neither history nor fiction. The three sympathetic refugees and their motley companions (especially an orphaned boy and an elderly shoemaker) make it clear that while the Gustloff was a German ship full of German civilians and soldiers during World War II, its sinking was still a tragedy. Only Alfred, stationed on the Gustloff, lacks sympathy; almost a caricature, he is self-delusional, unlikable, a Hitler worshiper. As a vehicle for exposition, however, and a reminder of Germany’s role in the war, he serves an invaluable purpose that almost makes up for the mustache-twirling quality of his petty villainy. The inevitability of the ending (including the loss of several characters) doesn’t change its poignancy, and the short chapters and slowly revealed back stories for each character guarantee the pages keep turning.

Heartbreaking, historical, and a little bit hopeful. (author’s note, research and sources, maps) (Historical fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-16030-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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