A violent, madcap, frequently entertaining scramble.

THE LOST KING

After years hiding out in plain sight, a royal heir sparks a revolution in his conquered city.

Despite brutal repression, rebellion is already simmering in Khul, renamed “Slave City” after the bloody invasion by the lighter-skinned Policy Makers six years before. When the arrival of the Policy Makers’ imperial Roc and his 13-year-old daughter, Fidelis, on a state visit sets off a coup attempt by his own subordinates, events escalate. The whirl of intrigue and increasing tensions catches up young Avtar—disguised since the murder of his royal parents as a flour-covered “Ghosty Boy” in the castle bakery—and culminates in a wild series of attacks, betrayals, chases, revelations, encounters on hidden staircases and improbable alliances. Just for fun, Jones also stirs in a flatulent lap dog and a prank that sends most of the Roc’s entourage hustling for the toilets, as well as providing amusing interchanges aplenty (“ ‘Did he really call me an untrusting cow?’…‘Who’d call you untrusting?’ he asked. ‘Or a cow?’ he added, just in time”). There are also a massive climactic storm and so many extremely convenient coincidences that it’s obvious some unseen supernatural player is at work. Sequels are certain, since the closing détente leaves almost everything unresolved.

A violent, madcap, frequently entertaining scramble. (Fantasy. 11-14)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-9084-5812-4

Page Count: 349

Publisher: Inside Pocket

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2012

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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There’s violence and gore in profusion, cool gear, hot wheels, awesome feats, inner conflicts on both sides—all that’s...

STEELHEART

From the Steelheart series , Vol. 1

A straight-up Marvel Comics–style action drama featuring a small band of human assassins taking on costumed, superpowered supervillains with melodramatic monikers.

It’s certainly a tried-and-true formula. Twelve years ago, a mysterious Calamity began turning random ordinary humans into evil Epics gifted with various combinations of superpowers (and also, always, some Achilles heel). Now, 18-year-old David Charleston manages at last to make contact with a cell of Epic-killing Reckoners led by legendary mastermind Jon Phaedrus. Then it’s on to a nonstop thrill ride that begins with the killing of David’s father 10 years before and roars through car and motorcycle chases, secret missions, huge explosions and hails of gunfire with high-tech weaponry to a climactic battle with Epic Steelheart. He’s bulletproof, shoots energy balls, has transformed the entire Chicago area into solid steel with a wave of his hand and wears a stylish silver cape. Shockingly, the book closes with the stunning revelation than not all Epics are evil through and through. As further sign that Sanderson (Rithmatist, 2013, etc.) isn’t taking any of this too seriously, the cast of Epics includes not only the likes of Steelheart, Faultline and Deathpoint, but Pink Pinkness and El Brass Bullish Dude, and some of their powers are equally silly. Stay tuned for sequels.

There’s violence and gore in profusion, cool gear, hot wheels, awesome feats, inner conflicts on both sides—all that’s missing are the pictures. (Fantasy. 11-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-385-74356-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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