Another smart Goodnight caper

A ghost-whispering 17-year-old is roped into a cinematic showdown between the FBI and the mob.

Clement-Moore introduces another magical teen detective from the Goodnight family, following on Amy’s adventures from Texas Gothic (2011). College freshman Daisy is accustomed to helping out the FBI on cases. Adorable Agent Taylor doesn’t consult with the teen psychic because she’s cute—much as Daisy might wish otherwise—but because her ability to read spirit remnants has helped them catch murderers before. While Daisy interrogates the dead bodyguard of a kidnapped girl, she’s snatched herself, spirited away by the girl’s crime-boss father. Soon, Daisy is on a madcap road trip across the Great Lakes states in the company of a disturbingly attractive young mobster, learning about Egyptology while avoiding erstwhile apocalyptic cultists. A CGI-ready climax pulls together all the metaphysical building blocks laid down in this mystery’s tight worldbuilding (not to mention mummies, ghosts, animated tattoos and a bonus dinosaur). This likable, uber-competent heroine’s adventure combines elements of paranormal romance and fast-paced thriller, while Daisy herself resembles a Southern teen version of supernatural PI Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher’s best-selling adult series.

Another smart Goodnight caper . (Paranormal mystery. 13 & up)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-385-74080-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013


An affecting supernatural mystery with a pair of brave protagonists.

The disappearance of a child unveils what lies hiding in the woods at the edge of a small town.

There are all sorts of stories about Picnic, Illinois, but it’s not until her toddler cousin, Madison, goes missing from her crib one night that 15-year-old Luce starts to believe them—and especially when she notices a pair of glowing, wolflike eyes through the windows of her house. To everybody’s relief, Madison is returned to her crib, seemingly safe and sound, soon after she vanished, but Luce and the child’s mother notice discomfiting differences in the 2-year-old. And yet, no one else seems to give credence to their concerns. Luce, prompted by a teacher, starts to research Picnic’s history and the many disappearances—and sudden reappearances—of baby girls, going back decades. Meanwhile, deep in the woods, Fanya, who narrates alternating chapters, tends to the baby girl and prepares for the ritual to welcome her as part of her pack when the full moon comes. As Luce’s and Fanya’s stories converge, so do past and present in Lund’s atmospheric novel. The story borrows elements from South Slavic lore about women who turn into animals to tell an affecting tale about small-town secrets, wronged people, and the bravery of two girls bent on getting to the truth in order to save lives. All characters are assumed White.

An affecting supernatural mystery with a pair of brave protagonists. (Paranormal thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35109-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022


Hold tight: You’ll want to stay on this nightmarish roller coaster till the end.

Trapped in an apocalyptic theme park, teens fight back.

Jay has it pretty good, all things considered, in a not-too-distant future absolutely ravaged by droughts, fires, floods, and powder-keg instability. He and his family are live-in employees of Karloff Country, a mountaintop in Virginia taken over by a billionaire family who created their own version of Disneyland as a refuge for their similarly wealthy peers to cavort away from the destruction they helped create. But when the end times loom, Jay realizes that the new guests, the Trustees, are privileged to the point of sociopathy, torturing staff over perceived slights with impunity. Jay rebels along with fellow Karloff Academy seniors Zeke and Connie and Seychelle, his crush and an heir to the Karloff fortune (Chelle’s racist grandfather, Franklin Karloff, hasn’t gotten over her White mom’s having had a biracial Black baby). They’re all fast friends; “the Black kids always find each other.” Narrated through multiple points of view, the novel features Jay’s perspective most prominently, with some interludes from his friends, all presented in Giles’ signature strong, accessible voice. With hints of Cory Doctorow, Jordan Peele, and Richard Matheson, this book stands on its own as a dystopian adventure, but the deeper metaphors around servitude, privilege, class, and solidarity mean that there’s a lot to think about as the characters reckon with their proximity to and complicity in violence both local and far-flung.

Hold tight: You’ll want to stay on this nightmarish roller coaster till the end. (Horror. 13-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-75201-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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