As a whole, this series is a decent bet for teen girls graduating from Rick Riordan.

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SWEET LEGACY

From the Sweet Venom series , Vol. 3

Greek mythology comes to life in this action-packed third installment of the Sweet Venom series, with paranormal 16-year-old triplets fighting the ancient-but-not-dead Olympic gods and monsters in contemporary San Francisco.

Beginning in the middle of a fierce battle in the Abyssos, the realm of monsters, this story abruptly picks up where the second book left off. Triplet descendants of Medusa, each endowed with a different supernatural power, Gretchen, Greer and Grace fight their way to Mount Olympus to rescue their Gorgon aunts, Euryale and Sthenno. Once they’ve rescued their supernatural relatives, they search for the door that opens the Abyssos, which, as the Key Generation, they are destined to open lest all the monsters die. Most of the gods oppose them, but a few nicely quirky monsters help the girls, especially cute Sillus, a monkey creature with a limited vocabulary and a comic touch. Three possibly untrustworthy boys enter the mix to add the briefest touch of romance. The story is told in first person in alternating chapters dedicated to each girl, and readers will have to pay attention to the chapter headings, as all three girls speak with identical voices. The ending leaves the door slightly open for another sequel but supplies enough satisfaction for fans.

As a whole, this series is a decent bet for teen girls graduating from Rick Riordan. (Paranormal adventure. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-200185-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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Magic, tennis action, and family secrets are woven into an original coming-of-age tale.

LEGACY AND THE QUEEN

A 12-year-old girl living in a kingdom ruled by a mysterious queen dreams of attaining her sport’s highest prize.

Legacy Petrin lives and works in the financially strapped orphanage in the provinces run by her father and rises early every day to practice tennis with her old racket. After her best friend, Van, excitedly tells her about a scholarship competition for a spot at an esteemed academy and the opportunity to try out for the national championships, Legacy runs away to the city to compete. After winning, she learns there is still much she doesn’t know: The players are not just proficient in tennis, but also have magical skills that they use to their advantage. Legacy befriends Pippa, a knowledgeable girl from an elite tennis family, and acquires a builder, or coach, Javi. With Pippa and Javi at her side, Legacy makes her way through the competition, despite sabotage attempts, learning secrets about her own family along the way. Legacy is a strong character, and the secondary characters also have interesting backstories. The storyline is reminiscent of other dystopian stories, but centering tennis—with lively descriptions of matches that give a strong sense of the sport—is an unusual touch. Most characters are white, although Javi is brown-skinned, and some other characters of color are mentioned.

Magic, tennis action, and family secrets are woven into an original coming-of-age tale. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-949520-03-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the...

CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 2

In this follow-up to Children of Blood and Bone (2018), Zélie and company are back, and the future of Orïsha hangs in the balance.

Zélie, now a maji Reaper, has achieved her goal and brought magic back to Orïsha, but at great cost. Grief and loss are strong themes throughout the book, compounded by guilt for Zélie, who feels responsible for her father’s death. Zélie and her older brother, Tzain, try to help Princess Amari ascend the throne, believing her family dead—but Queen Nehanda, Amari’s mother, is very much alive and more formidable than they could imagine. The trio join the Iyika, a band of rebel maji working to protect their persecuted people from threats new and old. Though the characters’ trauma reads as real and understandable, their decisions don’t always feel sensible or logical, often stemming from a lack of communication or forethought, which may leave readers frustrated. Though still commendable for its detailed worldbuilding, with an ending compelling enough to keep fans interested in the next installment, much of the book feels like navigating minefields of characters’ ill-advised decisions. All characters are black except for a secondary character with silky black hair, tan skin, and gray eyes “like teardrops.”

Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the first. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-17099-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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