Expert world-expanding storyline-juggling raises the stakes while building up to the series’ climax.



From the Tales of a New World series , Vol. 3

Mari, Nik, and the mixed (Earth Walker/Companion) Pack’s journey from Death, is interspersed with a new character’s narrative.

Three years ago, River, daughter of the leader of Herd Magenti (one of the five great Herds dwelling on the plains of the Wind Riders) attended a Rendezvous, the ceremony where the herds’ young can be Chosen and one can become a Wind Rider, gaining a bonded horse companion. Casting a shadow is the return of River’s childhood best friend, Clayton, whose feelings she doesn’t reciprocate (she’s asexual in a sexually-liberated culture). Her storyline follows her path to leadership, as she navigates politics and faces treachery. Strong, compassionate River’s scenes—despite temporal and spatial distance—compel readers with equine action and foreshadowing of the main narrative. Other storylines overlap with The Sun Warrior (2017), with the revived God of Death covetously spying Mari’s power during the Pack’s escape. While the Pack (with Dove and Lily) braves adversity while fleeing Death, romances bloom (including a lovely depiction of supporting a rape survivor in reclaiming her power and intimacy) and the openly-discussed ideal of inclusion yields results. Finally, Tribe Storyteller Ralina attempts to save her people, though her cunning brings her uncomfortably close to her enemy. Unfortunately, the story contains tired stereotypical tropes around Native Americans as well as blindness. Characters have a variety of skin tones.

Expert world-expanding storyline-juggling raises the stakes while building up to the series’ climax. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-10078-8

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.


From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.


From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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