A thought-provoking, action-packed addition to the series.

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REBEL SISTERS

From the War Girls series , Vol. 2

Ify and Uzo are connected by more than sharing an oppressive, war-torn country; they cross paths when Ify returns on a vital mission in this sequel to War Girls (2019).

It has been five years since the Biafran War ended, and Ify—in the Alabast Space Colony—isn’t eager to look back. She has climbed her way to the top and, at only 19, is set to become a doctor and assistant director, overseeing care for incoming refugees. When synths—humanoid machines that are given human memories—and cyberized refugee children suddenly lapse into comas after receiving deportation orders, Ify desperately wants answers. Tasked with returning to Nigeria, Ify must now confront the past she longed to leave behind. Uzo, a 15-year-old synth who yearns to belong, has been helping Enyemaka and Xifeng acquire and preserve memories of a war that the government wants to erase. Their paths collide, forcing Uzo and Ify to work together. Told in alternating viewpoints, the story examines the effects of trauma in a postwar society, colonization, immigration, and government distrust through the lens of two girls searching for answers. Third-person chapters that follow Ify are juxtaposed with Uzo’s logical and precise first-person narration; both are replete with descriptions of Nigerian culture. Ify and Uzo are Black; Xifeng is Han Chinese.

A thought-provoking, action-packed addition to the series. (Science fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984835-06-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning.

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SCYTHE

From the Arc of a Scythe series , Vol. 1

Two teens train to be society-sanctioned killers in an otherwise immortal world.

On post-mortal Earth, humans live long (if not particularly passionate) lives without fear of disease, aging, or accidents. Operating independently of the governing AI (called the Thunderhead since it evolved from the cloud), scythes rely on 10 commandments, quotas, and their own moral codes to glean the population. After challenging Hon. Scythe Faraday, 16-year-olds Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova reluctantly become his apprentices. Subjected to killcraft training, exposed to numerous executions, and discouraged from becoming allies or lovers, the two find themselves engaged in a fatal competition but equally determined to fight corruption and cruelty. The vivid and often violent action unfolds slowly, anchored in complex worldbuilding and propelled by political machinations and existential musings. Scythes’ journal entries accompany Rowan’s and Citra’s dual and dueling narratives, revealing both personal struggles and societal problems. The futuristic post–2042 MidMerican world is both dystopia and utopia, free of fear, unexpected death, and blatant racism—multiracial main characters discuss their diverse ethnic percentages rather than purity—but also lacking creativity, emotion, and purpose. Elegant and elegiac, brooding but imbued with gallows humor, Shusterman’s dark tale thrusts realistic, likable teens into a surreal situation and raises deep philosophic questions.

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7242-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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