While the subject matter is dark and at times raw, the message of the strength of the human spirit is ultimately uplifting.

THE COLOR OF DARKNESS

From the Book of Storms series , Vol. 2

Book 2 in the middle-grade Book of Storms trilogy.

Twelve-year-old Danny O’Neill’s life is miserable. His horrific nightmares have left him skittish, fearful, and without friends. That is, until he meets the tough, unswerving Cath Carrera, a girl who has known no kindness and expects none. Running away from her abusive father, Cath encounters a hare named Barshin who tells her that she is a tela: a being who can talk to other creatures. Barshin then briefly takes her to Chromos, a world created by dreams and imagination. Once home in England, Cath is desperate to return to Chromos, the only world of beauty that she has known, but Barshin tells her that he will only lead her back again if she gets the message to Danny—a schoolmate—that Danny’s cousin Tom is in great danger of being swallowed up by Sammael, the dark entity in Book 1 who trades wishes for souls.  Cath delivers the message, but Danny wants none of it, scarred as he is by his last encounter with Sammael. Pitting Danny’s fear against Cath’s fearlessness, Hatfield once again spins a complex, action-filled story that is buoyed with mythology and keenly observed depictions of the natural world. Danny is a middle-class white boy; Cath is a lower-class girl who endures taunts that her mother is a “Gypsy.”

While the subject matter is dark and at times raw, the message of the strength of the human spirit is ultimately uplifting. (Fantasy. 11-14)

Pub Date: June 7, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-001-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end.

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 1

Riggs spins a gothic tale of strangely gifted children and the monsters that pursue them from a set of eerie, old trick photographs.

The brutal murder of his grandfather and a glimpse of a man with a mouth full of tentacles prompts months of nightmares and psychotherapy for 15-year-old Jacob, followed by a visit to a remote Welsh island where, his grandfather had always claimed, there lived children who could fly, lift boulders and display like weird abilities. The stories turn out to be true—but Jacob discovers that he has unwittingly exposed the sheltered “peculiar spirits” (of which he turns out to be one) and their werefalcon protector to a murderous hollowgast and its shape-changing servant wight. The interspersed photographs—gathered at flea markets and from collectors—nearly all seem to have been created in the late 19th or early 20th centuries and generally feature stone-faced figures, mostly children, in inscrutable costumes and situations. They are seen floating in the air, posing with a disreputable-looking Santa, covered in bees, dressed in rags and kneeling on a bomb, among other surreal images. Though Jacob’s overdeveloped back story gives the tale a slow start, the pictures add an eldritch element from the early going, and along with creepy bad guys, the author tucks in suspenseful chases and splashes of gore as he goes. He also whirls a major storm, flying bullets and a time loop into a wild climax that leaves Jacob poised for the sequel.

A trilogy opener both rich and strange, if heavy at the front end. (Horror/fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: June 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59474-476-1

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2014

Did you like this book?

more