The intricately woven narrative threads come together in a suspenseful denouement sure to leave readers hoping for another...

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THE KNOWING

Nearly 400 years after the events in The Forgetting (2016), Canaan, long abandoned, its whereabouts lost, has devolved into an evil myth, while New Canaan, the rigid, class-stratified community that’s replaced it, faces growing threats, internal and external.

New Canaan’s rulers, the Knowing, live underground and are served by Outsiders, impoverished surface dwellers. The Knowing have perfect memory; to recall is to re-experience events as if for the first time. For those like black-haired, brown-skinned Samara who are unable to “cache,” or repress traumatic memories, suicide is common. Secretly helping Outsiders, Samara may have unintentionally endangered them. Tortured by horrific memories, she escapes to find Canaan’s ruins and to Forget. There, she runs into Beckett and Jill, two Americans from Earth’s spaceship Centauri III, its mission to learn the fate of predecessor missions. Beckett, multiracial (Chinese/Latinx) son of two anthropologists, is intrigued by Samara, who talks them into returning to New Canaan with her. His growing chemistry with Samara angers Jill, the bright, blonde, white daughter of an archaeologist. Uneasy with Jill’s ambition and expectations, Beckett’s alarmed by his father’s warning that Centauri III has a secret agenda, one that Jill may share. New Canaan, too, has surprises in store, including a burgeoning rebellion. Diverse, well-drawn characters abound, but in the riveting power struggles that ensue, women are dominant players, ruthless ideologues willing to sacrifice all that interferes with the goal.

The intricately woven narrative threads come together in a suspenseful denouement sure to leave readers hoping for another installment. (Science fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-94524-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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A purple page turner.

CLOCKWORK PRINCE

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. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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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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