SEBASTIAN DARKE

PRINCE OF EXPLORERS

“Wherever we go we encounter horrible, creepy, nasty things that want to kill us,” exclaims buffalope Max in this third fantasy featuring Max, elfling Sebastian and diminutive warrior Cornelius. Following hair-raising escapades in Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools (2008) and Sebastian Darke: Prince of Pirates (2009), the three friends seek the legendary lost city of Mendip, where fabulous treasure and ill fortune await. Wounded en route by murderous Gograth, Sebastian’s rescued by Keera, a strong-willed female of the Jilith tribe who quickly falls for him. After Cornelius successfully defeats the Gograth, the expedition survives a harrowing raft ride, carnivorous water dragons and Mendip’s ghoulish Night Runners to escape with treasure in tow. With Cornelius as bold strategist, Sebastian as kind-hearted humanist and Max as comic relief, friendship remains key in this adventure that questions the moral price of fortune hunting while maintaining the rapid pace and successful formula of its predecessors. Duddle's black-and-white illustrations capture key events. The unresolved finale suggests the possibility of still further adventures for this fearless trio. (Fantasy. 12-17)

Pub Date: April 13, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-385-73469-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2010

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WHAT THE MOON SAW

When Clara Luna, 14, visits rural Mexico for the summer to visit the paternal grandparents she has never met, she cannot know her trip will involve an emotional and spiritual journey into her family’s past and a deep connection to a rich heritage of which she was barely aware. Long estranged from his parents, Clara’s father had entered the U.S. illegally years before, subsequently becoming a successful business owner who never spoke about what he left behind. Clara’s journey into her grandmother’s history (told in alternating chapters with Clara’s own first-person narrative) and her discovery that she, like her grandmother and ancestors, has a gift for healing, awakens her to the simple, mystical joys of a rural lifestyle she comes to love and wholly embrace. Painfully aware of not fitting into suburban teen life in her native Maryland, Clara awakens to feeling alive in Mexico and realizes a sweet first love with Pedro, a charming goat herder. Beautifully written, this is filled with evocative language that is rich in imagery and nuance and speaks to the connections that bind us all. Add a thrilling adventure and all the makings of an entrancing read are here. (glossaries) (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-385-73343-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2006

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A satisfying if slightly lesser sequel. (Romance. 13-17)

P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 2

Lara Jean's romantic entanglements complicate themselves further.

In the wake of the events detailed in To All the Boys I Loved Before (2014), Lara Jean confesses her love for handsome golden boy Peter. This frees the pair to start a romantic relationship with a clean slate, but over the course of the novel it becomes clear that embarking on a relationship that turns an aggressive blind eye to baggage is never a good idea. When a viral video of a steamy love session between Peter and Lara Jean rears its ugly head and a boy from the past enters Lara Jean's life once more, Lara Jean's life gets complicated. Every character from Han’s adored previous novel is back, with new dimensions given to nearly every one of them. Subplots abound, among them two involving Lara Jean's father and Peter's ex-gal Genevieve, but benefitting most from this second look is John Ambrose McClaren, a boy briefly referenced in the former book who is thrust into the spotlight here as Peter's rival for Lara Jean's heart. With all these characters bouncing around, Han occasionally struggles to keep a steady hand on the novel's primary thrust: Lara Jean’s emotional development. Han gets the job done in the end, but this overeventful sequel pales to the original where structure is concerned. The author's greatest success remains her character work, and the book does indeed give everyone a solid arc, narrative be damned.

A satisfying if slightly lesser sequel. (Romance. 13-17)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2673-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2015

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