The simmering tale never quite reaches the boiling point, but fans will nonetheless yearn for the conclusion. (Paranormal...

THE UNFAILING LIGHT

From the Katerina Trilogy series , Vol. 2

In the sequel to The Gathering Storm (2012), the tsar forces Katerina to put aside her ambition to attend medical college and return to Smolny Institute for another year of finishing school, immersing her in the dangerous paranormal intrigue of the Russian court.

Since the blood bond created with vampiric Prince Danilo in the previous effort, he now has access to her thoughts, but Katerina knows better than to trust this handsome royal. Her thoughts are centered instead on Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, but he’s been sent to Paris to acquire a better understanding of magic, and besides, he’s aligned with the Light Court and she’s tied to the Dark. Thanks to her inborn talent as a necromancer, she can reanimate the dead at will. Now, in spite of a protective spell cast over Smolny Institute, an evil spirit has taken over the library, threatening students and staff. Katerina is determined to resolve the situation. The pace is deliberately slow; readers will have to be sustained by Bridges’ complex worldbuilding rather than any rapidly rising level of suspense, although the climax is satisfyingly perilous. Given the back story’s complexity, the second volume cannot stand alone. Katerina’s first-person voice is smart and believable, fitting well into this atmospheric romance.

The simmering tale never quite reaches the boiling point, but fans will nonetheless yearn for the conclusion. (Paranormal romance. 11 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-74024-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A zippy rom-com with strong characterization, bursting with Gen Z–approved verbal sparring and stolen kisses.

HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS AND UNFAIRLY CUTE

Two Black British ex–best friends tumble into an unexpected romance in this YA debut by noted romance author Hibbert.

On paper, Bradley Graeme and Celine Bangura are complete opposites. Brad is a handsome soccer player who can charm anyone in a five-mile radius. Celine is a fiercely guarded perfectionist who runs a popular conspiracy theory TikTok channel. After a major falling out nearly four years ago, the two avoid each other at all costs. When Celine learns that her hero, human rights lawyer Katharine Breakspeare, is running a program offering three full scholarships for incoming university students, she knows she has to apply—even if it requires two wilderness survival expeditions in English and Scottish forests. She also wants to prove a point to her estranged father, whose corporate law firm is a sponsor. For his part, Brad is eager to win a scholarship that would mean he wouldn’t have to take out loans after all. As their final year of school progresses, the 17-year-olds are thrown together as they attempt to conquer the Breakspeare course. Along the way, they regain mutual trust, reignite their long-simmering feelings, and discover their authentic selves. The pair’s relationship sparkles with tender moments and vulnerable revelations, balancing swoonworthy infatuation with sincere empathy. Brad, who is bisexual and has obsessive-compulsive disorder, helps Celine finally process the pain of her dad’s abandonment. (This review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

A zippy rom-com with strong characterization, bursting with Gen Z–approved verbal sparring and stolen kisses. (author’s note, glossary) (Romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-48233-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Joy Revolution

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more