From the Aurelian Cycle series , Vol. 1

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes.

What happens to the world after the dust from a revolution has settled?

Friends Annie and Lee were children from very different circles when Atreus killed Lee’s father, dragonlord Leon Stormscourge, ending the uprising on the bloodiest day in Callipolis’ history. For too long the dragonriders held all the power while their people starved and lived in fear. Nine years later, a new generation of dragonriders is emerging, children selected and trained on merit, not bloodlines. Their dragons are finally mature enough for them to compete for Firstrider, a position of power that can give Lee back a small part of what his family lost. However, not only is Lee competing against Annie, but rumors are circulating that some of the royal family have survived and have dragons of their own. Everyone will have to make a choice: Restore the old regime, support the First Protector and the new caste system he created, or look for a new way, no matter what the cost. From the beginning, this book pulls readers in with political intrigue and action. What keeps them invested, however, are the complex relationships between many cast members. Choices are complex, and the consequences for all could be deadly. The world is well fleshed out and believable. Annie and Lee are light skinned; secondary characters are diverse, and race is a nonissue in this world.

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes. (author’s note) (Fantasy.14-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51821-1

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019


From the Final Six series , Vol. 1

The shelves are already crowded with teens-training-for-space stories; there’s no need to make room for this one.

Teens become astronauts in record time for an inaugural space mission.

After losing his family to “the greatest flood Rome has ever known,” skilled white Italian swimmer Leo Danieli would never have expected that in his darkest moment he would be drafted by the European Space Agency to attend the International Space Training Camp, where teens will train to terraform and colonize Jupiter’s moon Europa for human settlement. California native Naomi Ardalan, a second-generation Iranian-American, has also been chosen for her expertise in science and technology. During a period of violent climate change worldwide, Earth’s governments are desperate to draft teens for a space mission for which they have only a few weeks in which to prepare. Twenty-four teen finalists, many orphaned by cataclysmic natural disasters, have been chosen from all over the world to compete for this space colonization mission. Warnings come to Leo and Naomi that there is a more sinister aspect to this mission, especially after things go tragically awry with other candidates during the training. The relationship that develops between Naomi and Leo feels forced, as if their meeting necessitates speedy deployment of a romantic cliché. The use of predictable plot devices, along with the fundamentally ludicrous premise, undermines any believability that would make a reader invest in such an elaborate space journey.

The shelves are already crowded with teens-training-for-space stories; there’s no need to make room for this one. (Science fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-265894-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017


A fresh and compelling voice.

A second chance prompts a deadly game of wits.

Lu Mingshin is about to be executed. Her fiance, Prince Ren, has ordered her death after using her family’s wealth to vie for the position of crown prince from his half brothers, each of them born to one of the widower king’s Royal Ladies. If that wasn’t enough, Mingshin learns that her Uncle Yi arranged her mother’s murder, and Aylin, her two-faced noblewoman cousin, will be marrying Ren instead. On the verge of death, Mingshin desperately wishes for another chance—only to see flashes of light and wake up two years in the past. With her memories of the future intact, Mingshin intends to not become a victim again, training in combat and vowing to endear herself to King Reifeng to secure her family’s safety. Strange dreams reveal the source of the magic that allowed her to jump back in time. A powerful mage is also on Mingshin’s tail, along with the ruthless enemies she’s already aware of. As Mingshin starts to rewrite her life’s story, new individuals come into play: a visiting Elder with questionable motives; Princess Yunle, who becomes a new best friend; and Prince Jieh, one of Ren’s rivals for the throne. Set in a fantasy world reminiscent of imperial China, this debut novel’s structure has a few oddities, but the clever premise and intriguing and suspenseful plot will keep readers engaged.

A fresh and compelling voice. (Fantasy. 14-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2023

ISBN: 9781454949923

Page Count: 344

Publisher: Union Square & Co.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023

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