Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews

THE INQUISITOR'S TALE by Adam Gidwitz
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A masterpiece of storytelling that is addictive and engrossing. (Fantasy. 11 & up)"
Gidwitz strikes literary gold with this mirthful and compulsively readable adventure story set in medieval France. Read full book review >
SWARM by Scott Westerfeld
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A high-octane bundle of thrills. (Science fiction. 12 & up)"
After Zeroes (2015), the group of superpowered teenagers is derailed by other people with powers—and fewer morals. Read full book review >

THE TENGU'S GAME OF GO by Lian Hearn
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Expect graphic violence, fairy-tale magic, flights of comedy, and operatic melodrama but also genuine intimacy and tragedy."
The four-book Tale of the Shikanoko series reaches its finale as destiny has its way, determining once and for all who will be emperor of Hearn's fantasy feudal Japan. Read full book review >
A NIGHT WITHOUT STARS by Peter F. Hamilton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"An atomic blast of a yarn. Hamilton in peak form and absolutely not to be missed."
Hamilton's latest (a relatively slender 704 pages) brings to a furious boil the two-book saga (The Abyss Beyond Dreams, 2014) describing human colony planet Bienvenido's unremitting battle against the hostile alien Fallers. Read full book review >
CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)"
This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam. Read full book review >

SACRIFICE by Cindy Pon
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A brilliant second act that can be read alone. (Fantasy. 15 & up)"
This thrilling sequel to Pon's Serpentine (2015) begins soon after the Great Battle between mortals and demons, as Skybright and her compatriots struggle with the fallout and face the looming threat of a new breach to the underworld. Read full book review >
FROST LIKE NIGHT by Sara Raasch
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"The dangers are real and many die—which is why the twist ending works: happiness is sobered by sacrifice in a fulfilling conclusion. (Fantasy. 14 & up)"
Meira returns in this final installment in the Snow Like Ashes trilogy. Read full book review >
THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting. (Fantasy. 14 & up)"
The opener to a pitch-black epic fantasy series horrifically upends the bonds of sisterhood. Read full book review >
DEATH'S END  by Cixin Liu
Kirkus Star
by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Liu's trilogy is the first major work of science fiction to come to the West out of China, and it's a masterpiece."
What if alien civilizations do exist? In this final installment of a stunning and provocative trilogy (The Dark Forest, 2015, etc.), Liu teases out the grim, unsettling implications. Read full book review >
THE SWAN RIDERS by Erin Bow
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Brilliant and compelling: don't miss this. (Science fiction. 13 & up)"
A girl, remade, might just remake the world. Read full book review >
THE QUEEN OF BLOOD by Sarah Beth Durst
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Enough substance to break from the pack; here's hoping that future volumes pull even farther ahead."
In the first of a new fantasy series by Durst (The Girl Who Could Not Dream, 2015, etc.), a woman with apparently weak magical abilities but exceptional smarts and determination competes to rule her land. Read full book review >
RED TIDE by Marc Turner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Another stunning, self-contained yarn that firmly establishes Turner in the fantasy front ranks."
The final part of this inventive and ferocious fantasy trilogy (Dragon Hunters, 2016, etc.) deftly combines characters from both previous entries—those that are still alive, anyway, and even some that weren't. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >