In spite of the shortcomings, loyal fans will still enjoy the (predictably) happy ending.

INTO THE STILL BLUE

From the Under the Never Sky series , Vol. 3

This conclusion to the Under the Never Sky trilogy begins as increasingly destructive electromagnetic Aether storms ravage the landscape.

Desperate, Perry and Aria decide to use hovercraft to transport the surviving members of the Tides tribe and the Dweller population to the mythic Still Blue, a region rumored to be free of storms. Hijacking the hovercraft from the bloodthirsty rival Horn tribe leader’s control will require combining Aria’s Dweller technological knowledge with Perry’s Tides wilderness survival skills. But uniting the Dwellers and Tides demands painful personal sacrifices from the two inexperienced young leaders. Here, the inventive worldbuilding of the first two novels is replaced by a heavy reliance on contrivances—the origin of the Aether storms is too easily explained, yet the improbable existence of the Still Blue remains mysterious. The novel focuses largely on Perry’s and Aria’s struggles to balance their personal feelings with their leadership responsibilities. Unfortunately, their increasingly repetitive inner monologues, while believable, offer few surprises for returning readers. The attempts at increasing suspense by injecting jealous tension between Perry and Aria falls flat, as the previous novels so firmly established their strong commitment to each other. Several other emotional moments, including a revelation about Aria’s father, feel more distractingly melodramatic than necessary.

In spite of the shortcomings, loyal fans will still enjoy the (predictably) happy ending. (Science fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-207209-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sure to please fans of the author and of the vampire-romance genre.

THE BEAUTIFUL

From the Beautiful series , Vol. 1

Forbidden love is tested by suspicion and murder in this latest addition to YA vampire lore.

Celine Rousseau, a French and Asian (mother’s exact origins unknown) seamstress, sails from Europe to America in hopes of leaving her shadowy past behind. En route, she bonds with Pippa, a white English émigrée, and both girls find refuge in an Ursuline convent. Celine’s talent as a couturier leads to a commission from Odette, a beautiful member of the opulent-yet-mysterious Cour des Lions, where students of the occult practice their craft unmolested. Before long, Celine is swept up in a world of mystical forces centering around Sébastien Saint Germain, an enigmatic aristocrat to whom she is irresistibly attracted. When a fellow convent member is found murdered, Celine suspects all her acquaintances, including Sébastien. The novel, wading into the waters of forbidden romance between teenage girl and hunky immortal vampire previously navigated by Buffy Summers and Bella Swan, feels less magical than it should despite the lush Victorian-era New Orleans setting. At times the mounting attraction between Bastien and Celine is told rather than shown, which makes the central relationship feel forced rather than organic and passion filled. Ahdieh (Smoke in the Sun, 2018, etc.) brings New Orleans vibrantly to life, particularly when exploring the complicated racial and gender restrictions of high society through main and supporting characters of mixed-race origin.

Sure to please fans of the author and of the vampire-romance genre. (Fantasy. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3817-4

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

more