John is Number Four, the next alien teen in line to be killed by the vile Mogadorians. A charm dictates that John and the...

THE POWER OF SIX

From the Lorien Legacies series , Vol. 2

The James Frey assembly-line approach to teen lit has generated another boomfest.

John is Number Four, the next alien teen in line to be killed by the vile Mogadorians. A charm dictates that John and the other nine destined planet-saviors be killed in numerical order because... just because, okay? Since the conclusion of I Am Number Four (2010), John's been on the run with his best friend Sam and alien girl Number Six. Despite the title, Number Six's only role here is to be the butt-kicking object of Sam's and John's affections; John's quests, which range chaotically from escape to rescuing Sam to mooning over his high-school girlfriend, are always paramount. John's chapters interweave with those of Marina, Number Seven, hiding in a convent school in Spain. As Marina's story line involves a tiny bit of actual depth, the frequent cuts back to John only make him seem more vapid by comparison. Ultimately, the two stories climax with flaming green fireballs, mobs of alien monsters, heroes wielding lightning and the conflagration of countless Mogadorians. Michael Bay (who produced the 2011 film adaptation of book one) will surely be pleased.

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-197455-7

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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Sweet, if unremarkable.

BRIARHEART

A gentle “Sleeping Beauty”–inspired tale of teens training to defend a baby princess.

Fifteen-year-old Miri, beloved stepdaughter of the king, is freshly in love—with her baby sister. As the novel opens, Aurora’s christening looms, and any Disney fan will know what’s coming. However, this is Miri’s story, and pages of first-person description and exposition come before those events. Tirendell, like all kingdoms, has Light and Dark Fae. Dark Fae feed off human misery and sadness, but their desire to cause harm for self-benefit is tempered by the Rules. The Rules state that they can only act against humans under certain conditions, one being that those who have crossed them, for example, by failing to invite them to a royal christening, are fair game. Miri steps up instinctively at the moment of crisis and both deflects the curse and destroys the Dark Fae, which leads to the bulk of the novel: an extended and detailed day-to-day journey with Miri and her five largely indistinguishable new friends as they train in combat and magic to protect Aurora from future threats. With limited action and a minimal plot, this story lacks wide appeal but is notable for the portrait of deep familial love and respect, while the brief, episodic adventures (including talking animals) offer small pleasures. All characters are implied to be White.

Sweet, if unremarkable. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5745-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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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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