NUBIA

THE RECKONING

From the Nubia series , Vol. 2

An ambitious return to a future of promise, danger, and self-discovery that fans of the first volume will enjoy.

With a stronger grasp of their immense power, awakened Nubian teens navigate the inequities of the future as well as threats from the past in this sequel centering Black characters co-authored by actor Epps and author and editor Haynes.

Empath, telepath, and budding telekinetic Uzochi, 16, is revered for his role as a Nubian catalyst, someone expected to amplify and guide the re-emerging abilities of his people in late-21st-century New York City. But even without powers, he sees how much his friends and family rely on him and how much fear his community feels as targets of the wealthy and prejudiced denizens of the Up High. In fact, as Lencho, his powerful, energy-absorbing cousin, makes a home in the ritzy, floating Manhattan neighborhood as a reward for betraying the Nubians living below, it becomes clear that class conflict plus family dysfunction make for an explosive combination in the buildup to another big battle. After a rescue mission to the Up High goes awry for Uzochi and friends, a shocking discovery coincides with Lencho’s being overtaken by an ancient evil that benefits as much from his ambitions and insecurities as from his tremendous powers. The narration alternates between multiple perspectives, reinforcing how this generation of Nubian youth remains burdened by the mistakes of their ancestors and ultimately must forge their own paths forward, for better or worse.

An ambitious return to a future of promise, danger, and self-discovery that fans of the first volume will enjoy. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780593428689

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2023

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  • New York Times Bestseller

DIVINE RIVALS

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives.

In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother’s losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clichéd tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world.

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-85743-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

POWERLESS

From the Powerless Trilogy series , Vol. 1

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes.

The Plague has left a population divided between Elites and Ordinaries—those who have powers and those who don’t; now, an Ordinary teen fights for her life.

Paedyn Gray witnessed the king kill her father five years ago, and she’s been thieving and sleeping rough ever since, all while faking Psychic abilities. When she inadvertently saves the life of Prince Kai, she becomes embroiled in the Purging Trials, a competition to commemorate the sickness that killed most of the kingdom’s Ordinaries. Kai’s duties as the future Enforcer include eradicating any remaining Ordinaries, and these Trials are his chance to prove that he’s internalized his brutal training. But Kai can’t help but find Pae’s blue eyes, silver hair, and unabashed attitude enchanting. She likewise struggles to resist his stormy gray eyes, dark hair, and rakish behavior, even as they’re pitted against each other in the Trials and by the king himself. Scenes and concepts that are strongly reminiscent of the Hunger Games fall flat: They aren’t bolstered by the original’s heart or worldbuilding logic that would have justified a few extreme story elements. Illogical leaps and inconsistent characterizations abound, with lighthearted romantic interludes juxtaposed against genocide, child abuse, and sadism. These elements, which are not sufficiently addressed, combined with the use of ableist language, cannot be erased by any amount of romantic banter. Main characters are cued white; the supporting cast has some brown-skinned characters.

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9798987380406

Page Count: 538

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

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