From the Nico Bravo series , Vol. 2

Smart, fast-paced fun.

Living among gods and monsters, a young boy must save his friends and their magical island.

Jumping right in where Nico Bravo and the Hounds of Hades (2019) left off, young Nico Bravo, resident of the enchanted isle of Celestina and employee at Vulcan’s Celestial Supply Shop, is not looking forward to the annual visit of Sam, better known as Abonsam, the West African god of misfortune and pestilence—who, despite his bailiwick, comes across as a pretty likable character. When one of Sam’s monsters is released, however, all at the shop begin to turn to stone. As Nico’s friends are petrifying, Orcus, a shape-shifting monster henchman of Ahriman, god of evil, has broken into the shop to steal the last piece of Aether, the building block of all things. Nico embarks upon an epic quest to save his friends and their home—along the way encountering Atlantean flying saucers, unicorns stuck in a time loop, and steamroller scorpions—but not before he learns his own origin story. Cavallaro’s sophomore graphic novel is both fast-paced and engaging, filling its full-color panels with enough intrigue and explosions to keep pages flying. Fans of Rick Riordan’s works should feel at home here with its mix of multicultural religions. Ahriman comes from Zoroastrian tradition, Orcus is a Roman deity, and secondary character Eowulf derives from Nordic myth; figures from the Abrahamic faiths seem to be absent, however. Nico and most of the main human characters are white; only a few unnamed background humans show any different skin tones.

Smart, fast-paced fun. (Graphic fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-22037-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020


From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021


From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 2

If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one.

Roz, a robot who learned to adapt to life among wild creatures in her first outing, seeks to return to the island she calls home.

Brown’s sequel to The Wild Robot(2016) continues an intriguing premise: What would happen to a robot after challenges in an unexpected environment cause it to evolve in unusual ways? As this book opens, Roz is delivered to a farm where she helps a widower with two young children run a dairy operation that has been in his family for generations. Roz reveals her backstory to the cows, who are supportive of the robot’s determination to return to the island and to her adopted son, the goose Brightbill. The cows, the children, and finally Brightbill himself come to Roz’s aid. The focus on Roz’s escape from human control results in a somewhat solemn and episodic narrative, with an extended journey and chase after Roz leaves the farm. Dr. Molovo, a literal deus ex machina, appears near the end of the story to provide a means of rescue. She is Roz’s designer/creator, and, intrigued by the robot’s adaptation and evolution but cognizant of the threat that those achievements might represent to humans, she assists Roz and Brightbill in their quest. The satisfactory (if inevitable-feeling) conclusion may prompt discussion about individual agency and determination, whether for robots or people.

If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-38204-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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