There’s romantic angst aplenty but little else to keep readers invested in either story or characters

TIME AFTER TIME

Bennett mooches around his family’s high-end San Francisco house in 2012, waiting for his girlfriend, Anna, to return to Evanston, Ill., from her summer in Mexico—in 1995.

Bennett uses his amazing, inexplicable ability to travel through time to visit Anna in a series of trips that can’t feel anything but futile. With 17 years between them, how can this romance survive? Anna’s parents, ignorant of Bennett’s abilities, become increasingly resentful of his seemingly cavalier treatment of their daughter. If he can’t stick around, why doesn’t he just leave her alone? And why does Anna put up with it? Meanwhile, in 2012, Bennett begins to use his talent the way his father always wanted him to: to correct senseless tragedies. Remarkably, he feels great after these interventions, not drained and afflicted by migraines the way he usually does after traveling back through time. Conversely, his returns from visits to Anna are becoming increasingly bloody and debilitating. Bennett serves as present-tense narrator of this sequel, describing his various agonies, physical and emotional, as he continues to pursue this hopeless relationship. Once again, Stone fails to provide readers with a solid understanding of Bennett’s singular ability, seemingly changing the rules to suit her plot and characters—up to and including an apparently impossible resolution.

There’s romantic angst aplenty but little else to keep readers invested in either story or characters . (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4231-5960-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

more