Fans of the paranormal, sure to be spellbound by this tale of revenge and teen rebellion, will hope Zink conjures up a...

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THIS WICKED GAME

With this foray into secret voodoo societies and forbidden spells, Zink delivers an enjoyable, fast-paced ride perfect for lovers of the paranormal thriller.

Seventeen-year-old Claire Kincaid doesn’t believe in voodoo. Not that unusual a stance, really, unless you are a direct descendant of Marie Leveau and the only daughter of one of the most powerful couples in an underground New Orleans voodoo guild. But when a mysterious stranger walks into the Kincaid store in search of panther’s blood—an ingredient used only to kill—a series of events begins to unfold that will challenge everything Claire thinks she knows about voodoo, the Guild and her own latent abilities. Exhibiting characteristically teenage frustration with their parents, who reign stolidly over Guild affairs, Claire, her boyfriend, Xander, and some other Guild firstborns take the investigation into their own hands. They find an ally in ex-member Crazy Eddie and together delve into the darker side of voodoo in order to defeat those out to destroy the Guild in retribution for past injuries. The plot is suspenseful, the characters are sympathetic if not fully rounded, and the fictional subculture comes alive through detailed descriptions of the New Orleans setting, particularly the Garden District.

Fans of the paranormal, sure to be spellbound by this tale of revenge and teen rebellion, will hope Zink conjures up a sequel. (Paranormal thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3774-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end.

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 1

Riggs spins a gothic tale of strangely gifted children and the monsters that pursue them from a set of eerie, old trick photographs.

The brutal murder of his grandfather and a glimpse of a man with a mouth full of tentacles prompts months of nightmares and psychotherapy for 15-year-old Jacob, followed by a visit to a remote Welsh island where, his grandfather had always claimed, there lived children who could fly, lift boulders and display like weird abilities. The stories turn out to be true—but Jacob discovers that he has unwittingly exposed the sheltered “peculiar spirits” (of which he turns out to be one) and their werefalcon protector to a murderous hollowgast and its shape-changing servant wight. The interspersed photographs—gathered at flea markets and from collectors—nearly all seem to have been created in the late 19th or early 20th centuries and generally feature stone-faced figures, mostly children, in inscrutable costumes and situations. They are seen floating in the air, posing with a disreputable-looking Santa, covered in bees, dressed in rags and kneeling on a bomb, among other surreal images. Though Jacob’s overdeveloped back story gives the tale a slow start, the pictures add an eldritch element from the early going, and along with creepy bad guys, the author tucks in suspenseful chases and splashes of gore as he goes. He also whirls a major storm, flying bullets and a time loop into a wild climax that leaves Jacob poised for the sequel.

A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end. (Horror/fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: June 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59474-476-1

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2014

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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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