For readers seeking a diverse, witchy mystery.

B*WITCH

From the B*Witch series , Vol. 1

Teen witches are tasked with finding those who are threatened by their existence.

Sorrow Point, Washington, seems like a typical American small town except for the two secret covens of sophomore witches who have been feuding since junior high. When newcomer Iris—who is just doing her best to manage her anxiety and sensory processing disorder—arrives, Greta (the levelheaded leader), Binx (the technomancer rebel), and Ridley (the studious and artistic one) make plans to recruit her before the rival coven does. Since the new president started stirring up venomous hatred toward witches, there have been more Antima (Anti-Magic) members lurking around. Suddenly, the girls start receiving threatening shadow messages. Their entire existence is illegal and could spell trouble if anyone ever found out who they truly were. As they attempt to track the notes’ sender, tragedy strikes, and now the covens will have to band together to find out who murdered a fellow witch. The author crafts an honest, promising story narrated through a third-person omnipotent voice and featuring an inclusive, distinct cast of young women who detail their unique struggles. The story fizzles at the very end with the setup for another installment, however readers will relish the character-building as they get to know these young witches. Greta is cued as Latinx, Iris is white, Binx is Japanese American, and Ridley is black and trans.

For readers seeking a diverse, witchy mystery. (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-02876-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Freeform/Disney/LBYR

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lushly written story with an intriguing heart.

ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART

From the Once Upon a Broken Heart series , Vol. 1

After praying to a Fate for help, Evangeline discovers the dangerous world of magic.

When her father passes away, Evangeline is left with her cold stepmother and kind but distant stepsister, Marisol. Despite inheriting a steady trust in magic, belief in her late mother’s homeland of the mystical North (where fantastical creatures live), and philosophy of hope for the future, her dreams are dashed when Luc, her love, pledges to marry Marisol instead. Evangeline desperately prays to the Prince of Hearts, a dangerous and fickle Fate famed for his heart that is waiting to be revived by his one true love—and his potentially lethal kisses. The bargain they strike sends her on a dark and magical journey throughout the land. The writing style fluctuates from clever and original to overly verbose and often confusing in its jumble of senses. While the pervasive magic and concept of the Fates as a religious system add interest, other fantasy elements are haphazardly incorporated without enough time devoted to building a cohesive world. However, the themes of love, the power of story, family influence, and holding onto belief are well rounded and add depth. The plot contains welcome surprises, and the large cast piques curiosity; readers will wish more time was spent getting to know them. Evangeline has rose-gold hair and, like other main characters, reads as White; there is diversity among the fantasy races in this world.

A lushly written story with an intriguing heart. (map) (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-26839-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

more