Sweet teen reading for fans of X-Men, Star Trek and all things geeky.

ANOMALY

This teen sci-fi debut features a nerdy heroine who can add and subtract objects from reality.

For Josie Harper’s 17th birthday, her boyfriend dumps her. Worse, she hasn’t seen her father in a month, and her summer internship at a physics lab has fallen through. She misses her deceased brother, Nick, and nothing seems right, until the darkly handsome Reid Wentworth arrives at Oceanside High on his motorcycle. He gets Josie away from her overprotective mother to explain that he—and she, now that she’s of age—have the power to Push reality; they can create inanimate objects at will, contingent on being able to visualize them. They can also Retract objects that have been Pushed, making Reid and Josie Anomalies. The catch is that both gifts draw from a finite reservoir of energy, and depleting it brings mental and physical degeneration. Reid then informs Josie that the Schrodinger Consortium wants to kill them (and others like them, called Oculi), but as a member of the Resistance, he can protect and train her. Josie is reluctant to trust Reid and his partner, Santos, but the more she contemplates her father’s absence and her mother’s work as a neurological researcher, she realizes her life isn’t quite what she thinks it is. Debut author Kuper’s sleek prose—saturated with pop-culture references—invites both nerds and the uninitiated into the world of the Oculi. “Thank Thor,” Josie says, as well as adorably dorky things like “even though he could be an underwear model, I would’ve rather made out with a Romulan.” Nods to quantum theory abound, too, with normal, non-Pushers called “Plancks,” after the physicist. The chemistry between Reid and Josie is solid, despite an underwhelming secret connection. Problematic, however, is Reid’s assertion that “We can’t Push anything with a soul,” meaning anything living or dead; Josie eventually Pushes trees and yet later cannot Push a viral serum. Aside from these slippery details, the narrative redeems itself through great twists and the positive message that reality is ours to shape.

Sweet teen reading for fans of X-Men, Star Trek and all things geeky.

Pub Date: Nov. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-1622664054

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

THE CRUEL PRINCE

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

Did you like this book?

A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences.

MIDNIGHT SUN

From the Twilight series , Vol. 5

A long-awaited Twilight (2005) companion novel told from vampire Edward’s point of view.

Edward Cullen, a 104-year-old vampire (and eternal 17-year-old), finds his world turned upside down when new girl Bella Swan’s addictive scent drives a primal hunger, launching the classic story of vampire-meets-girl, vampire-wants-to-eat-girl, vampire-falls-in-love-with-girl. Edward’s broody inner monologue allows readers to follow every beat of his falling in love. The glacial pace and already familiar plot points mean that instead of surprise twists, characterization reigns. Meyer doesn’t shy away from making Edward far less sympathetic than Bella’s view of him (and his mind reading confirms that Bella’s view of him isn’t universal). Bella benefits from being seen without the curtain of self-deprecation from the original book, as Edward analyzes her every action for clues to her personality. The deeper, richer characterization of the leads comes at the expense of the secondary cast, who (with a few exceptions) alternate primarily along gender lines, between dimwitted buffoons and jealous mean girls. Once the vampiric threat from James’ storyline kicks off, vampire maneuvering and strategizing show off the interplay of the Cullens’ powers in a fresh way. After the action of the climax starts in earnest, though, it leans more into summary and monologue to get to the well-known ending. Aside from the Quileutes and the occasional background character, the cast defaults to White.

A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences. (Paranormal romance. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-70704-6

Page Count: 672

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

more