For readers who want a military twist to their apocalyptic adventure/romance.

SEEKER

From the Riders series , Vol. 2

Three apocalyptic horsemen and one former Seeker search for their fourth rider in this sequel.

In averting an apocalypse and defeating the demonic Kindred, Gideon (War), Marcus (Death), and Jode (Conquest) also lost Sebastian (Famine), who was mistakenly trapped with the violent Samrael in another realm by Seeker Daryn. Now allied with the government and equipped with money and top-notch tech as well as their supernatural steeds and weapons, yet unable to rescue Sebastian, the riders discover life—or technically, afterlife—goes on. Without the Sight, which estranged her from her family and led her around the world, teen Daryn is homesick, powerless, and guilt-stricken. When Daryn finds a way to open a portal, one-handed, celiac-suffering, ex-military Gideon reunites and begins a romance with Daryn but struggles to forgive his enemy. As the retrieval missions go awry, the riders and Daryn confront their worst memories and fears as the surreal Rift reflects past trauma and spawns new monsters. Daryn and Gideon, Rossi’s white co-narrators, and their more diverse supporting characters engage in realistic dialogue and abundant, cinematically depicted action sequences, but the plot is tortuous, the high-stakes scenes are achieved illogically, and the angst-y teen emotions are described repetitively. Despite the violence, the emphasis on forgiveness, redemption, and higher purpose may appeal to faith-based audiences.

For readers who want a military twist to their apocalyptic adventure/romance. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7653-8256-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Tor Teen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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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

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How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

CROOKED KINGDOM

From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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