Better in concept than in execution.


From the Inherit the Stars series , Vol. 1

The fates of two interplanetary kingdoms hang upon the success of an arranged marriage in this futuristic romance.

In a universe where entire planets are being strip-mined for fuel, the House of Fane has finally created a sustainable energy source for their people. However, they’ve paid a high price for this achievement. Uprisings have left the House’s heir in a coma, a key agricultural planet has been destroyed, and starvation and invasion are now very real threats. Sixteen-year-old Asa is the youngest of the House’s three daughters. When Asa learns her father’s solution to their troubles—a marriage alliance with a rival House—also involves removing her eldest sister, Wren, from life support, she tries to protect Wren by taking their middle sister’s place in the marriage. Predictably, no one is pleased when they discover what she’s done. While this debut is ambitious in scope, neither the characterization nor the worldbuilding feels fully fleshed out. Though Asa’s motivations are well-explored, her new husband, Eagle, remains mostly a cipher, and their eventual attraction and romance seem to be driven primarily by narrative convenience. Much of the science seems implausible, even for a sci-fi setting, and political intrigue and melodramatic family secrets only further muddle the already-busy plot.

Better in concept than in execution. (Science fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7624-5840-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Running Press Teens

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.


The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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