Readers will eagerly await the next installment in this promising paranormal adventure.

WINTER FALLS

From the Twin Willows Trilogy series , Vol. 1

This first book of a planned trilogy finds 16-year-old Alessia Jacobs living in boring Twin Willows, Maine, where nothing ever happens—that is, until the mysterious Wolfe family arrives in town and Alessia’s instantly drawn to their attractive son, Jonah.

Days later, after encountering Jonah again at school, Alessia’s confused by visions of becoming a falcon. She’ll soon discover these visions are real: She’s a member of the Benandanti, an ancient group of warriors who can separate their souls from their bodies and transform into powerful animals, something they’ll rely on to keep potent magic from falling into the hands of the conscienceless Malandanti, foes with similar shape-shifting talents. Deciding whether to accept the Call, Alessia weighs typical teen impulses like wanting to spend time with heartthrob Jonah against the responsibilities Benandanti membership requires. Maggi’s pacing is quick, and her imaginative prose (with its ear for dialogue) supports a cast of characters, including Alessia’s fiercely protective Italian mother, Lidia. All elements combine to create a nicely textured real world where a surreal battle’s set to take place. Intriguing questions set the stage for the sequel: Did Alessia’s father’s death have anything to do with the paranormal world Alessia finds herself in? How much does Lidia know, and will she play a part in the unfolding drama? Will Jonah and his hard-to-read twin, Bree, be friends or foes in the coming battle?

Readers will eagerly await the next installment in this promising paranormal adventure. (Paranormal adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-60542-683-9

Page Count: 316

Publisher: Medallion Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 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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Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles.

A MAP OF DAYS

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 4

The victory of Jacob and his fellow peculiars over the previous episode’s wights and hollowgasts turns out to be only one move in a larger game as Riggs (Tales of the Peculiar, 2016, etc.) shifts the scene to America.

Reading largely as a setup for a new (if not exactly original) story arc, the tale commences just after Jacob’s timely rescue from his decidedly hostile parents. Following aimless visits back to newly liberated Devil’s Acre and perfunctory normalling lessons for his magically talented friends, Jacob eventually sets out on a road trip to find and recruit Noor, a powerful but imperiled young peculiar of Asian Indian ancestry. Along the way he encounters a semilawless patchwork of peculiar gangs, syndicates, and isolated small communities—many at loggerheads, some in the midst of negotiating a tentative alliance with the Ymbryne Council, but all threatened by the shadowy Organization. The by-now-tangled skein of rivalries, romantic troubles, and family issues continues to ravel amid bursts of savage violence and low comedy (“I had never seen an invisible person throw up before,” Jacob writes, “and it was something I won’t soon forget”). A fresh set of found snapshots serves, as before, to add an eldritch atmosphere to each set of incidents. The cast defaults to white but includes several people of color with active roles.

Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles. (Horror/Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3214-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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