VOICES AFTER MIDNIGHT

Chad—a frank, ingenuous 14-year-old Californian—tells what happens when his family rents an old New York town house on East 73rd for two weeks one summer: farewell to beaches and barbeques, hello Central Park and—after slipping into several other times—the Blizzard of 1888. Chad's little brother Luke has always been able to see the Indians walking through the utility room at home, or fields as they were years ago. Now, as the one to suspect that he and Chad are urgently needed in the past, he's the leader; a wise child more interested in history than in the present, he's already begun to dream about the snow. So, inexplicably, has Chad. Even mod, self-absorbed older sister Heidi finds her way back to 1888 to attend a ball just before the blizzard. To what end? The rescue of two young ancestors in distress—if they can find them before they freeze to death. Putting the Californians in New York gives Peck a chance to poke gentle fun at both city and suburb, while giving an apt tongue-in-cheek characterization of adolescence: "We used to be a family with a mom and a dad, two brothers, and a sister. Then Heidi hit high school, and we became a mom, a dad, two brothers and an alien." A quick-moving, neatly plotted time fantasy, with thoroughly likable characters, bantering dialogue, and just the right touch of romance.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1989

ISBN: 0440403782

Page Count: 196

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1989

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

In the end, it’s just another violent dystopian series opener for all its yellow-brick veneer, but it’s a whole lot more fun...

DOROTHY MUST DIE

When a cyclone deposits a 21st-century Kansas teen in Oz, she and readers discover there’ve been some changes made.

Dirt-poor “Salvation Amy” Gumm lives in a trailer park, effectively parenting her alcoholic mom (her dad ran off years ago), who seems to care more about her pet rat, Star, than her daughter. That doesn’t mean Amy is eager to be in Oz, particularly this Oz. Tyrannized by a megalomaniacal Dorothy and mined of its magic, it’s a dystopian distortion of the paradise Baum and MGM depicted. In short order, Amy breaks the wholly capricious laws and is thrown into a cell in the Emerald City with only Star for company. There, she’s visited first by the mysterious but sympathetic Pete and then by the witch Mombi, who breaks her out and takes her to the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked (among whom is the very hot Nox). Amy may well be the salvation of Oz—only someone from the Other Place can take Dorothy down. Paige has clearly had the time of her life with this reboot, taking a dystopian-romance template and laying it over Oz. Readers of Baum’s books will take special delight in seeing new twists on the old characters, and they will greet the surprise climactic turnabout with the smugness of insiders.

In the end, it’s just another violent dystopian series opener for all its yellow-brick veneer, but it’s a whole lot more fun than many of its ilk. (Dystopian fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-228067-1

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

more