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RED SNOW

A TWISTED FAIRY TALE

An exciting fantasy tale with entertaining reinventions of classic characters.

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Three supernatural women come together to fight evil and save their land in Wright’s fairy-tale-inspired horror-fantasy YA novel.

Seventeen-year-old Snow White has pale skin, dark hair, rose-red lips, and a thirst for blood. The vampire princess has lived with her need to feast on others since birth, but unlike other vampires, she has a soul and can freely walk in sunlight. Her mother died long ago, and after marrying her evil stepmother, her father lost his life as well. Now, her stepmother is holding the throne until Snow White comes of age; the older woman plots against the younger, spreading vicious rumors about her. She also has her groundskeeper take Snow White into the Forbidden Forest, where, after telling her the truth about her stepmother, he dies while saving her from bandits. Snow White soon finds she’s not completely alone, however, when she meets teenage vegan werewolf Red Riding Hood. The two aren’t safe for long, as they must fight a group of vampires and then escape from Red Riding Hood’s angry werewolf pack, including her furious grandmother. They first make their way to a cabin on a mountain where seven brothers offer them safety and shelter for a time. If the young women can escape their enemies’ clutches, they’ll have to go to the Charming Kingdom to meet up with teenage Cinderella, a good witch in training. Wright has created a fantastical setting with intriguing reinventions of classic tales, transforming their characters into modern, spunky heroes. Each shows brand-new complexity; for example, Snow White’s heart of gold is juxtaposed with her vampiric needs. The story is full of memorable side players as well, including the Grim, a talking cat who helps Snow White on her journey. The work is further aided by Wright’s excellent use of humor, as well as action scenes that pack a punch: “The huge gamekeeper swung his axe once again, catching another bandit across the body. The man let out a bloodcurdling scream as another bandit rushed up behind Garth and sunk his rusty sword into the gamekeeper’s back.”

An exciting fantasy tale with entertaining reinventions of classic characters.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2023

ISBN: 979-8988995739

Page Count: 309

Publisher: Witch Way Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2023

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  • New York Times Bestseller

DIVINE RIVALS

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives.

In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother’s losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clichéd tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world.

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-85743-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

POWERLESS

From the Powerless Trilogy series , Vol. 1

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes.

The Plague has left a population divided between Elites and Ordinaries—those who have powers and those who don’t; now, an Ordinary teen fights for her life.

Paedyn Gray witnessed the king kill her father five years ago, and she’s been thieving and sleeping rough ever since, all while faking Psychic abilities. When she inadvertently saves the life of Prince Kai, she becomes embroiled in the Purging Trials, a competition to commemorate the sickness that killed most of the kingdom’s Ordinaries. Kai’s duties as the future Enforcer include eradicating any remaining Ordinaries, and these Trials are his chance to prove that he’s internalized his brutal training. But Kai can’t help but find Pae’s blue eyes, silver hair, and unabashed attitude enchanting. She likewise struggles to resist his stormy gray eyes, dark hair, and rakish behavior, even as they’re pitted against each other in the Trials and by the king himself. Scenes and concepts that are strongly reminiscent of the Hunger Games fall flat: They aren’t bolstered by the original’s heart or worldbuilding logic that would have justified a few extreme story elements. Illogical leaps and inconsistent characterizations abound, with lighthearted romantic interludes juxtaposed against genocide, child abuse, and sadism. These elements, which are not sufficiently addressed, combined with the use of ableist language, cannot be erased by any amount of romantic banter. Main characters are cued white; the supporting cast has some brown-skinned characters.

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9798987380406

Page Count: 538

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

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