An overfull crossover between paranormal romances, hard-boiled–detective stories and Gossip Girl novels.

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IMMORTAL CITY

A world that worships not angelic Hollywood stars but actual angels proves familiar.

Guardian Angels exist, but they only help people with enough money to pay for their exorbitantly expensive contracts. They lead the lives of the glitterati in Angel City, the Hollywood of this celestial-infested world. Jackson Godspeed is Angel City's favorite, a hunky 18-year-old A-lister whose every date is featured on the celebrity programming of both A! and the Angel News Network. When Jacks and his Ferrari wind up in hiding (from the cops, from his ex-girlfriend, from the media) in a scruffy diner in a bad part of town, he meets Maddy, a gruff, high-school student and waitress. The connection between Maddy and Jacks is electric and inevitable. Through the rest of their adventure—running from serial killers, fighting demons, posing for cameras, discovering corruption among the ranks of the Guardian Angels, learning the truth about old murders—they dance around each other, admitting then denying their sexual tension. Maddy's early commentary on the classist structures making up her world are entirely subsumed in the sensual reveling in celebrity: brand names and sports cars; powerful male Angel leaders and sexy female Angel models. The necessary revelation of Maddy's deep, dark secret (no everyday girl, she) will surprise no one.

An overfull crossover between paranormal romances, hard-boiled–detective stories and Gossip Girl novels. (Fantasy. 13-15)

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59514-506-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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Though it’s a bit of a slog, readers of Book 1 will find it worth the time for its unexpected conclusion

THE SHADOW'S CURSE

A lost prince and his ladylove must defeat the tyrant rampaging over the steppes with an army of enslaved spirits in this sequel to The Oathbreaker’s Shadow (2015).

Raim is haunted by the spirit of his best friend, Khareh—a spirit that appeared when Raim accidentally broke an oath made by another, leaving him magically marked and exiled from his nomadic tribe as an oathbreaker. Khareh yet lives, but with the best part of himself lost in the spirit, his ambition has become megalomania. Not content to be khan of his tribe alone, Khareh aims to join all the northern nomads into one massive khanate. Raim seeks control over his spirit but also yearns to rescue Wadi, the dark-skinned desert girl to whom he's given his heart. Wadi is Khareh's captive, and she is more than capable of freeing herself from the cruel young khan; nevertheless she must stay a captive. It's her destiny to make a king of Raim, she learns from a blind seer in one of the stalest tropes of superpowered disability. Raim, Khareh, and Wadi travel all over the steppes of Darhan, giving a solid glimpse of this fantasy world roughly based on the lives of Mongolian nomads. A dense narrative of tiny chapters with shifting points of view leaves little time to become invested in each character's journey.

Though it’s a bit of a slog, readers of Book 1 will find it worth the time for its unexpected conclusion . (Fantasy. 13-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7387-4512-1

Page Count: 456

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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Moving imagery is muddied by disjointed character representation in a novel that feels overcrowded.

ANGEL THIEVES

A Texas bayou holds memories and secrets, weaving together people and animals through connected histories.

Buffalo Bayou takes her place as part of an ensemble cast that spans nearly two centuries. Sixteen-year-old Cade Curtis is a white boy who works alongside his father stealing angel statues from cemeteries for an antiques dealer, and Soleil Broussard is a 16-year-old Creole Christian with a tiny honey bear jar tattooed on her wrist. The two attend school together in present-day Houston, Texas, but the story intertwines their connection with stories of slaves and an ocelot in a narrative that runs away like the rushing of a river. Texas is a gorgeous backdrop for the story, eliciting haunting imagery that spotlights the natural beauty of the state. Each character helps piece together a quilt of experiences that stream from the omnipresent bayou who sees, hears, and protects, and the revelations of their overlapping connections are well-paced throughout. The novel is less successful, however, at underscoring why there are so many voices battling for space in the text. Too-short vignettes that are rather haphazardly forced together provide glimpses into the lives of the characters but make it difficult to follow all of the threads. While an author’s note offers historical background explaining the inspiration for the characters, it does not provide sufficient cohesion.

Moving imagery is muddied by disjointed character representation in a novel that feels overcrowded. (author’s note) (Fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2109-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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