From the Lost Planet series , Vol. 2

Star Trek for young fans of the genre, who’ll be thrilled at the prospect of a sequel.

He’s found a home and located his history (though he still doesn’t remember it), but Chase Garrety is far from safe in this sequel to The Lost Planet (2014).

The children of genetically enhanced supersoldiers, Chase and his sullen younger sister, Lilli, both have powers of their own. Chase can “phase” through solid matter, and Lilli can make copies of herself and project them to other locations. They have to hide their abilities from most of the crew of the Fleet starship Kuyddestor; only the captain (whom Lilli calls uncle), Lt. Maurus and the ship’s doctor know. A faction within the Federation (which is united with but does not control the Fleet) would like to get its hands on Chase and Lilli. Chase is worried the captain will be hunted down for helping them, especially when the Kuyddestor gets a new assignment: assisting with peace talks between the planets Storros and Werikos. When Chase discovers an opportunity to learn about his parents, the siblings, Chase’s hacker friend, Parker, and new acquaintance Analora head into danger. The ship’s computer is hacked and then the ship is hijacked, and Chase has no idea whom to trust. Searles’ action- and intrigue-packed sci-fi thriller is peopled with characters who are sometimes confused, sometimes heroic and sometimes brats—that is to say, always genuine. They make realistic choices that are sometimes wrong in a believable and interesting future milieu. In particular, Lilli’s exploitation of her ability makes for great plot points.

Star Trek for young fans of the genre, who’ll be thrilled at the prospect of a sequel. (Science fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-03880-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014


From the Girl of Fire and Thorns series , Vol. 1

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel,...

Adventure drags our heroine all over the map of fantasyland while giving her the opportunity to use her smarts.

Elisa—Princess Lucero-Elisa de Riqueza of Orovalle—has been chosen for Service since the day she was born, when a beam of holy light put a Godstone in her navel. She's a devout reader of holy books and is well-versed in the military strategy text Belleza Guerra, but she has been kept in ignorance of world affairs. With no warning, this fat, self-loathing princess is married off to a distant king and is embroiled in political and spiritual intrigue. War is coming, and perhaps only Elisa's Godstone—and knowledge from the Belleza Guerra—can save them. Elisa uses her untried strategic knowledge to always-good effect. With a character so smart that she doesn't have much to learn, body size is stereotypically substituted for character development. Elisa’s "mountainous" body shrivels away when she spends a month on forced march eating rat, and thus she is a better person. Still, it's wonderfully refreshing to see a heroine using her brain to win a war rather than strapping on a sword and charging into battle.

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel, reminiscent of Naomi Kritzer's Fires of the Faithful (2002), keeps this entry fresh. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-202648-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011


Well-educated American boys from privileged families have abundant options for college and career. For Chiko, their Burmese counterpart, there are no good choices. There is never enough to eat, and his family lives in constant fear of the military regime that has imprisoned Chiko’s physician father. Soon Chiko is commandeered by the army, trained to hunt down members of the Karenni ethnic minority. Tai, another “recruit,” uses his streetwise survival skills to help them both survive. Meanwhile, Tu Reh, a Karenni youth whose village was torched by the Burmese Army, has been chosen for his first military mission in his people’s resistance movement. How the boys meet and what comes of it is the crux of this multi-voiced novel. While Perkins doesn’t sugarcoat her subject—coming of age in a brutal, fascistic society—this is a gentle story with a lot of heart, suitable for younger readers than the subject matter might suggest. It answers the question, “What is it like to be a child soldier?” clearly, but with hope. (author’s note, historical note) (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-58089-328-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

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