An electric, futuristic fantasy with loads of action, heartbreak and one delicious gold-lamé cat suit. (Urban...

TOXIC HEART

From the Mystic City series , Vol. 2

Averting the vindictive intent of a greedy family while longing for the affection of an absent paramour can give a revolutionary girl heartburn.

In this sequel to Mystic City (2012), Aria Rose continues her evolution from clueless debutante to political activist. Bombs, kidnapping and torture are par for the course as the battle for power wages between wealthy denizens of the Aeries and mystic rebels in Manhattan’s decrepit Depths. Aria has renounced her lush life in order to help the mystics and their leader (her dreamy boyfriend, Hunter) establish equality. Though far-removed from dinner parties and servants, Aria remains a media darling, with allies and adversaries alike watching her every broadcasted move. When she discovers that Hunter has manipulated their private online conversations for propaganda purposes, Aria realizes she is merely a pawn that opposing sides are grappling to possess and resolves to find a solution herself. Aria has traded her confusion from Book 1 for determined self-empowerment this round, intensifying the narrative. Resilient though she may be, she has a fair amount of fumbles and self-doubts, maintaining her character’s plausibility. Intense action and kick-ass characters will thrill fantasy and action fans. And the aerobic pace endures to an ending that will have readers clamoring to know what becomes of Aria and the revolution she has unwittingly fueled. 

An electric, futuristic fantasy with loads of action, heartbreak and one delicious gold-lamé cat suit. (Urban fantasy/science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74162-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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An accomplished, exciting debut.

ALL THE STARS AND TEETH

From the All the Stars and Teeth series , Vol. 1

A princess embarks on a dangerous path to the throne.

In the island kingdom of Visidia, where each person is allowed just one type of magic, only the members of the royal Montara family have the ability to wield the dangerous soul magic. Princess Amora is next in line to be High Animancer, but she must first prove to her people that she is powerful enough to use her magic to protect them. But something goes terribly wrong during a critical public ceremony, and Amora runs away with dashing pirate Bastian, whose rescue comes with a price: She must help him recover his own magic, stolen away by a dangerous man leading a growing rebellion that could bring down the whole kingdom. Debut author Grace wields her own magic with a skillful balancing act between high-stakes adventure (here there be monsters, mermaids, and high-seas shenanigans), bloody fantasy, and character development in a story with a lovable found family at its core. Amora yearns for adventure just as she welcomes her right to command her kingdom; her ferocious sense of duty and legitimate need to do good shine through. The novel’s further unravelling of dark secrets long kept comes with a recognized need for accountability and making amends which adds a thoughtful extra layer to the rich worldbuilding. Amora has copper-brown skin and dark, curly hair; other characters have a range of skin tones in this diverse world.

An accomplished, exciting debut. (guide to the kingdom) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-30778-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

CROOKED KINGDOM

From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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