Here’s hoping the Brannicks will be back—their story’s marvelous fun.

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SCHOOL SPIRITS

From the Hex Hall series , Vol. 4

Izzy—short for Isolde—and her mother are the last in their centuries-old line of monster killers.

Izzy’s sister Finley disappeared while the sisters were dealing with a witches’ coven, and Izzy has felt guilty about the incident ever since, holding herself responsible. Looking for a break, Izzy’s mom moves them to Ideal, Miss., and sends Izzy to high school, an environment completely foreign to the girl, with the hope that she will be able to deal with a local ghost. Izzy makes actual friends there but learns that this ghost has far more power than usual, and she comes to suspect that one of her cherished new friends may have summoned it. Worse, she’s attracted to Dex, but the boy gives off vibes that Izzy picks up as supernatural. She can’t tell just what kind of being Dex might be, but she hopes she won’t have to kill him. Hawkins dials the level of humor up to high throughout most of the book, with deftly phrased witticisms in both the narrative (“worry slithered through me”) and her characters’ dialogue (“I am affronted!” declares Dex). Her characterizations shine as original and funny, especially Dex and Torin, an Elizabethan-era warlock trapped for centuries in the Brannicks’ mirror, who dispenses dubious advice. Finley still being missing, it’s entirely possible this, itself a spinoff of the Hex Hall books, may become a series.

Here’s hoping the Brannicks will be back—their story’s marvelous fun. (Paranormal comedy/suspense. 12 & up)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4231-4849-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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