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


From the Weather Witch series , Vol. 2

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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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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A purple page turner.


From the Infernal Devices series , Vol. 2

This sequel to Clockwork Angel (2010) pits gorgeous, attractively broken teens against a menacing evil.

There's betrayal, mayhem and clockwork monstrosities, and the Shadowhunters have only two weeks to discover—oh, who are we kidding? The plot is only surprisingly tasty icing on this cupcake of a melodramatic love triangle. Our heroes are Tessa, who may or may not be a warlock, and the beautiful Shadowhunter warrior boys who are moths to her forbidden flame. It's not always clear why Tessa prefers Will to his beloved (and only) friend Jem, the dying, silver-eyed, biracial sweetheart with the face of an angel. Jem, after all, is gentle and kind, her dearest confidante; Will is unpleasant to everyone around him. But poor, wretched Will—who "would have been pretty if he had not been so tall and so muscular"—has a deep, dark, thoroughly emo secret. His trauma puts all previous romantic difficulties to shame, from the Capulet/Montague feud all the way to Edward Cullen's desire to chomp on Bella Swan. Somehow there's room for an interesting steampunk mystery amid all this angst. The supporting characters (unusually well-developed for a love-triangle romance) include multiple compelling young women who show strength in myriad ways. So what if there are anachronisms, character inconsistencies and weird tonal slips? There's too much overwrought fun to care.

A purple page turner. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7588-5

Page Count: 528

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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