Nifty romantic escapism enhanced by expansion of worldbuilding and development of secondary characters.

A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN

From the Court of Thorns and Roses series , Vol. 3

Feyre and her friends must stop the evil Hybern king’s conquering schemes.

Following A Court of Mist and Fury (2016), pale-skinned Feyre has been returned to the Spring Court in the wake of an alliance between Tamlin and Hybern. She deceives them, actually serving as a spy and saboteur for Rhysand and his court. But right before she can sneak back to the Night Court (and her loving, quite physical relationship with Rhys), her careful plan is torpedoed. She and Lucien make a far more dangerous than expected voyage back to Velaris and to Feyre’s friends and family, her two sisters suffering from their forcible Fae transformations. To counter Hybern’s machinations, Feyre and Rhys must rally their own allies, but the Fae courts are still fractured and reeling from Amarantha’s cruelties, and they distrust Night for its reputation. To repair the rifts, the heroes must weigh the pros and cons of dropping their protective masks and showing their true selves, part of the reoccurring themes of self-acceptance and forgiveness. But some alliances are still dangerous—recruiting monsters to fight the monstrous is always a dicey proposition—and double agents abound. Side characters’ romantic storylines are interwoven with the strategizing and even the war, pairing the expanded world with extended action sequences and character revelations, and the conclusion’s ramifications will be felt in the next installments.

Nifty romantic escapism enhanced by expansion of worldbuilding and development of secondary characters. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61963-448-0

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2017

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Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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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

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