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From the Weather Witch series , Vol. 2

Readers who liked the first novel will enjoy the fleshed-out world; others (especially readers frustrated with Jordan’s...

Following the events of Weather Witch (2013), Jordan trains to become a Conductor—the human battery of an airship—while her love interest and would-be rescuer falls in with sky pirates.

Aboard the Artemesia, there’s a lot going on. Jordan is forced to use weather magic, an illusionist (the “Wandering Wallace”) forwards a mysterious agenda, and Bran (plus his partner and daughter) is held captive by Marion, a witch he Made—and they all take turns as point-of-view characters in third-person narration. Jordan’s slated to replace the ship’s dying Conductor once she learns the job. She’s still a doomed victim awaiting rescue when the captain, finding her beautiful, subjects her to new, adult horrors. Finally, she discovers the key to her powers: rage. Meanwhile, her sweetheart Rowen’s shanghaied onto a pirate airship, where he meets anti-slavery captain Elizabeth. She soon shows her quasi-captive the secret workings of her ship’s illegal steam technology. Of other subplots, the best involves corrupt Council members and their plot to maintain an unjust status quo. The rhetoric is decidedly current for the period setting: Elites discuss the political advantages of quagmire wars, and one character implores another: “Be the change you want to see.” With so many viewpoints and separate storylines, all plots inch along slowly, with their convergences only hinted at for future installments.

Readers who liked the first novel will enjoy the fleshed-out world; others (especially readers frustrated with Jordan’s passivity) should pass. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-01865-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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From the Warning series , Vol. 1

A glossy repackaging of a jejune tale.

A reissue of the 2016 novel published as Consider.

Alexandra Lucas and her boyfriend, Dominick, are about to start their senior year of high school when 500 vertexes—each one a doorway-shaped “hole into the fabric of the universe”—appear across the world, accompanied by holographic messages communicating news of Earth’s impending doom. The only escape is a one-way trip through the portals to a parallel future Earth. As people leave through the vertexes and the extinction event draws nearer, the world becomes increasingly unfamiliar. A lot has changed in the past several years, including expectations of mental health depictions in young adult literature; Alex’s struggle with anxiety and reliance on Ativan, which she calls her “little white savior” while initially discounting therapy as an intervention, make for a trite after-school special–level treatment of a complex situation; a short stint of effective therapy does finally occur but is so limited in duration that it contributes to the oversimplification of the topic. Alex also has unresolved issues with her Gulf War veteran father (who possibly grapples with PTSD). The slow pace of the plot as it depicts a crumbling society, along with stilted writing and insubstantial secondary characterization, limits the appeal of such a small-scale, personal story. Characters are minimally described and largely racially ambiguous; Alex has golden skin and curly brown hair.

A glossy repackaging of a jejune tale. (Science fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: June 6, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-72826-839-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023

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An entertaining fantasy set in a world that readers will want to revisit.

Brie risks the deadly land of the Fae to save her sister.

Brie doesn’t trust many people other than Jas, her eternally hopeful sister, and Sebastian, mage apprentice and Brie’s secret love (as if she had time for romance). Brie struggles to meet the payments for the magical contracts binding their lives to Madame Vivias, supplementing her cleaning work by stealing from the rich. While the land of Faerie tempts other girls with word of a castle, a lavish ball, and a fae prince seeking a wife, Brie mistrusts the creatures who capitalize on humanity’s greed. When Jas’ contract is sold to the fae, Brie braves the golden Seelie queen’s court, meets the noble Prince Ronan, and travels on to the Unseelie king’s shadow court. In the process she discovers love, historical secrets, atrocities, and her own hidden strength. While many elements regarding the fae and a love triangle will feel familiar to fans of the genre, and the magic could have been more fleshed out, discussions of power, inequity, trust, and hope expand the worldbuilding in refreshing ways. Similarly, consideration of the balance between truth and secrets, lies and stories, is intriguing as it’s applied to characters, relationships, and historical lore. Despite certain predictable reveals, the plot itself, which starts off slowly, picks up and is pleasantly convoluted with multiple satisfying surprises. Major human characters read as White.

An entertaining fantasy set in a world that readers will want to revisit. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: July 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-38657-5

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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