From the Under the Never Sky series , Vol. 3

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

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. 19, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2013


There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013


From the Once Upon a Broken Heart series , Vol. 3

Frustratingly slow and lacking in magical wonder.

Despite living her happily-ever-after, Evangeline can’t help but strive to recover her lost memories in this trilogy closer.

Evangeline Fox awakens in the strong arms of Prince Apollo, her apparent husband, who swears to protect her from the evil Lord Jacks, who stole her memories. Unfortunately, Evangeline remembers nothing of her long and complex journey in the Magnificent North or her past romances; only the pain in her heart lets her know something is missing. At Wolf Hall, Evangeline seeks ways to unlock her missing memories, including enlisting the help of a mysterious guard named Archer, even as Apollo’s behavior becomes more and more controlling. The pacing and plot feel stagnant at first, with Evangeline remembering things in flashes and moments of brief feelings, but things finally pick up once her memories return. With the point of view rotating among Evangeline, Apollo, and Jacks, there are few narrative surprises, but it’s intriguing to delve into the minds of an antagonist and a Fate. The story’s inclusion of the legendary Valors and the fantastical fairy-tale setting are unfortunately overshadowed by the love triangle’s dramatic tug-of-war romance. Likewise, the book’s various themes—power, hope, stories, and the nature of humanity—are of interest but handled in an unfocused way. The conclusion, at least, is satisfying, and it hints at future tales set in this world. Evangeline, Jacks, and Archer read white; Apollo has dark hair and olive skin.

Frustratingly slow and lacking in magical wonder. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9781250851208

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2023

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