Ambitious, entertaining start to a sexy YA paranormal adventure series.

of the lilin

In this debut fantasy novel, after family tragedy, college-age Sage Frankle discovers her supernatural capabilities and bloodline legacy.

Sage stands numb in front of a casket. She recently lost her mom to cancer, and now her stepfather’s friend David has died of unexpected heart failure. Her stepfather, off the wagon and wild with grief, tries to strangle her, and Sage’s world goes black. Before she knows it, her stepfather is in an alcohol treatment center, and she has put her college classes on hold to live with her aunt Ilia at the latter’s inn in another part of Vermont. Sage goes for counseling but is too depressed, too scared to delve deep. She doesn’t remember what happened with David, but she seems to read others’ thoughts and has been having odd dreams. Her cousin Lilly, who had left for a trip around the time of David’s demise, returns home, drawing to the surface the dark energy lurking throughout the inn. Sage either sees or imagines Lilly in bondage sex with the local “Playboy Chef,” who is then weakened by a mystery illness. Handsome, angelic Lucien, whom Lilly treats as her master, arrives on the scene, as do Tate, a sweet, nerdy mythology major and son of the ailing chef, and Desden, Sage’s gay tattoo artist best friend from home. As Sage’s strange behavior escalates, Ilia finally explains all, and the group bands together to deal with the girls’ powers and the “portal” gateway of the inn. To launch this planned series of tales focused on these alluring young women, debut author Hampton sets up a diverse cast of players and a solid, believable back story that draws from Jewish folklore. Some of the characters, such as a crime writer who’s a frequent guest at the inn, are rather awkwardly introduced, perhaps to be further developed in future installments. Overall, however, Hampton conjures a heady blend of eroticism, fantasy, humor and coming-of-age angst that should appeal to both Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans.

Ambitious, entertaining start to a sexy YA paranormal adventure series.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615964560

Page Count: 360

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

Did you like this book?

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.


A middle-aged woman returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, confronting many painful secrets from her past.

When Mallory Aldiss gets a call from a long-ago boyfriend telling her that her elderly father has been gallivanting around town with a gun in his hand, Mallory decides it’s time to return to the small Rhode Island town that she’s been avoiding for more than a decade. Mallory’s precocious 13-year-old daughter, Joy, is thrilled that she'll get to meet her grandfather at long last, and an aunt, too, and she'll finally see the place where her mother grew up. When they arrive in Bay Bluff, it’s barely a few hours before Mallory bumps into her old flame, Jack, the only man she’s ever really loved. Gone is the rebellious young person she remembers, and in his place stands a compassionate, accomplished adult. As they try to reconnect, Mallory realizes that the same obstacle that pushed them apart decades earlier is still standing in their way: Jack blames Mallory’s father for his mother’s death. No one knows exactly how Jack’s mother died, but Jack thinks a love affair between her and Mallory’s father had something to do with it. As Jack and Mallory chase down answers, Mallory also tries to repair her rocky relationships with her two sisters and determine why her father has always been so hard on her. Told entirely from Mallory’s perspective, the novel has a haunting, nostalgic quality. Despite the complex and overlapping layers to the history of Bay Bluff and its inhabitants, the book at times trudges too slowly through Mallory’s meanderings down Memory Lane. Even so, Delinsky sometimes manages to pick up the pace, and in those moments the beauty and nuance of this complicated family tale shine through. Readers who don’t mind skimming past details that do little to advance the plot may find that the juicier nuggets and realistically rendered human connections are worth the effort.

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-11951-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?