Shattering and transcendent.

THE SHADOW BEHIND THE STARS

From the author of the radiant A Creature of Moonlight (2014), a heartbreaking fantasy tackles life’s big questions.

Why do terrible things happen? How is one supposed to keep on going afterward? And what is there left to live for? After her life is brutally destroyed, the devastated Aglaia seeks out the three Fates of Greek myth and demands answers. Motherly Serena and even dour Xinot take pity on the innocent girl, but from the very beginning, youngest sister Chloe, who spins the threads of destiny for the other two to measure and cut, senses that Aglaia—with her stunning beauty, clear vision, and fierce determination—threatens the very foundations of their reality. For as the sisters are drawn inexorably into Aglaia’s suffering and plans for vengeance, they become increasingly immersed in the human lives, filled with all their hopes and joys and tragedies and griefs, from which the Fates need isolation. Chloe’s narrative voice is piercing and poetic, encompassing both youthful heedlessness and eternal power, rich in minute observations, delicate metaphors, restrained accountings of atrocities, and reluctant wisdom. Alongside her sisters, she comes to sing mortals “a tune of cataclysms, of breaking points, of beautiful horrors”—but the final aching chord of helpless love becomes the unexpected triumphant resolution to every impossible question.

Shattering and transcendent. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3571-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more