Between the expanded worldbuilding and well-paced suspense, Fine presents a sturdy-enough bridge to carry readers to Book 3....


From the Guards of the Shadowlands series , Vol. 2

At the end of Sanctum (2012), sweethearts Lela and Malachi found themselves returned to the world of the living to track down the evil, soul-destroying Mazikin that had escaped from the dark city of suicides Malachi had protected.

Back in suburban Rhode Island, Lela needs to navigate the end of her senior year even as she acts as Captain of a Guard unit that must work at night to track and banish the Mazikin. Joining her and Malachi are Jim, from the Blinding City of addicts and thieves, and Henry, from the Wasteland, that section of the Shadowlands reserved for murderers. Archangel Raphael provides intermittent help and healing but never as much as Lela would like. Per the now-standard formula of paranormal-romance middle volumes, Fine provides a nominal reason to separate Lela and Malachi—here, Malachi’s fear that his love for Lela will cause him to make bad decisions—and stretch out the sexual tension. This contrivance is made less irritating than it might be by the teens’ involvement in the student body of Lela’s high school and its shifting romantic relationships. Lela has to admit that the attention hunky, normal Ian pays her is pretty appealing. Alternating high school banality with the surreal danger of the Guards’ mission, Fine kicks it up a notch when Lela encounters the mother who abandoned her, now possessed by a Mazikin.

Between the expanded worldbuilding and well-paced suspense, Fine presents a sturdy-enough bridge to carry readers to Book 3. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4778-1729-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Skyscape

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.


From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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