Limned in stark red, white and black, this cold, delicate snowflake of a tale sparkles with icy magic.

READ REVIEW

AS RED AS BLOOD

From the Snow White Trilogy series , Vol. 1

This trilogy opener from a talented young author has a bracing energy that stands up to the most muscular of Scandinavian thrillers and a heroine more than equal to her competition.

Named for Snow White, Lumikki, 17, lives alone in Tampere, Finland, attending a magnet arts school far from her parents and hometown. If her grim childhood still prompts nightmares, it’s also given her important gifts—chief among them, her ability to deflect attention while closely observing those unaware of her. (Lumikki’s sure to draw comparison to Lisbeth Salander, but Peter Høeg’s Smilla is her true sister under the skin.) In her school’s darkroom, she stumbles into (literally) an appalling secret: thousands of dripping euros hung to dry. Despite an evident attempt to cleanse them, they still smell of blood. Within hours, Lumikki’s pulled into a claustrophobic conspiracy with three popular, high-profile students. Meanwhile, a young Russian woman not much older than Lumikki lies dead nearby, at the heart of the mystery into which Lumikki and her classmates are drawn. The starkly powerful opening paragraph of the Grimms’ “Snow White” provides the narrative frame, and it’s no flimsy high concept—rather, Simukka’s onto something: Fairy tales, like mysteries, present uncompromising moral imperatives—no soft, comforting shades of gray for even the youngest readers.

Limned in stark red, white and black, this cold, delicate snowflake of a tale sparkles with icy magic. (Thriller. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-1477847718

Page Count: 236

Publisher: Skyscape

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lackluster take on a well-worn trope.

THE TWIN

After a family tragedy, 16-year-old Ivy Mason hopes to reconnect with her aloof identical twin sister, Iris—but Iris has other plans.

When Ivy’s parents divorced 10 years ago, Ivy stayed with her father while Iris went to live with their mother. When their mother dies after falling off a bridge while jogging, Iris comes to live with Ivy and their father. Narrator Ivy is reeling (she even goes to therapy), but Iris seems strangely detached, only coming to life when Ivy introduces her to her best friends, Haley and Sophie, and her quarterback boyfriend, Ty. However, Ivy isn’t thrilled when Iris wants to change her class schedule to match hers, and it’s not long before Iris befriends Ivy’s besties and even makes plans with them that don’t include Ivy. Iris even joins the swim team where Ivy is a star swimmer. As Iris’ strange behavior escalates, Ivy starts to suspect that their mother’s death might not have been an accident. Is Iris up to no good, or is Ivy just paranoid? In the end, readers may not care. There are few surprises to be found in a narrative populated by paper-thin characters stuck fast in a derivative plot. Even a jarring final twist can’t save this one. Most characters seem to be white, but there is some diversity in secondary characters.

A lackluster take on a well-worn trope. (Thriller. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12496-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more