Filled with even more magic and intrigue than its predecessor, this is a gripping follow-up that will leave readers...

THE SPEAKER

From the The Reader Trilogy series , Vol. 2

The adventure continues in Chee’s second installment of the Sea of Ink and Gold series.

Sefia and Archer have escaped the Guard, but the danger is far from over. They are still being hunted, and their past and future, slowly being revealed by the Book, are catching up to them. Struggling to accept the dark truths of their pasts, Sefia and Archer embark on a crusade to eliminate all the impressors and free the boys whom, like Archer, the impressors have kidnapped and brutally trained to kill. Meanwhile, the pirate Reed and his colorful crew are derailed from their pursuit of eternal glory when they find out the Blue Navy is threatening their way of life by hunting and eliminating their fellow outlaws at sea. New characters are introduced, and with them, more secrets are revealed. Chee’s skill at managing complex storylines shines through as stories upon stories meet and intertwine in startling ways. Throughout it all, Sefia delves deeper into the book and her parents’ past for clues of her and Archer’s future. What she finds will catapult them into an even more dangerous and impossible mission. The novel features a diverse cast of characters, and Sefia has East Asian features.

Filled with even more magic and intrigue than its predecessor, this is a gripping follow-up that will leave readers speculating and wanting more. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-17678-4

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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

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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

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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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