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

THE STOLEN MOON

From the Lost Planet series , Vol. 2

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. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

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

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 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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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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