Although the story has plenty of ambition and moments of admirably lyrical prose, in the end, it does not fully realize its...

READ REVIEW

CHAINBREAKER

From the Timekeeper series , Vol. 2

In 1876, someone is destroying the clock towers that control India’s time.

In this second volume in Sim’s Timekeeper series, readers rejoin teenage clock mechanics Danny Hart and Daphne Richards as they travel to Agra to investigate a series of clock tower bombings. Daphne and Danny are given this assignment because of their recent successes thwarting similar attacks in England—although, startlingly, unlike the attacks the teens witnessed, the tower bombings in India have not actually stopped time. As the mechanics piece together what happened, Danny, a white human, grapples with his illicit relationship with Colton, the male clock spirit that controls time in the tower where Danny is the mechanic. While Danny is away, this tower is attacked, and Colton journeys to India to protect Danny. On the way, Colton learns the disturbing truth behind his origins. Sim is adept at worldbuilding, and the book’s romantic scenes sizzle. However, the plot races among an overwhelming number of unresolved conflicts that leave readers unsure what to expect in the sequel. Additionally, mixed-race Daphne’s character does not develop much, despite the fact that her late father had a white English father and an Indian mother and that Daphne’s trip to India plunges her into speculation about her heritage and identity. The narrative contains factual inaccuracies about the Indian setting that may interrupt the suspension of disbelief among readers familiar with it.

Although the story has plenty of ambition and moments of admirably lyrical prose, in the end, it does not fully realize its promising premise. (Steampunk. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5107-0619-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 17

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.

CHAIN OF GOLD

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more