The whole trilogy stands out for originality and great entertainment.

FLOCK

From the Stork series , Vol. 3

The Stork trilogy ends in a whirlwind of Norse mythology as Katla tries to escape the deal she made in volume two.

Frost (2011) saw Kat battling the Snow Queen to save her boyfriend, Jack, who has paranormal powers as Jack Frost. Kat has her stork powers, but she runs afoul of the other storks when she takes things into her own hands. Meanwhile, two characters she met in Iceland, Jinky, the rough-cut shaman-in-training, and charismatic Marik, actually a selkie in disguise as a human, show up as new students in her high school. Marik reminds her that she promised her newborn sister Leira to the court of the Norse gods as payment for the opportunity to rescue Jack. Now Kat has to find a way to save Leira without angering two Norse goddesses so much that they’ll bring the entire world to an end. Yes, it sounds too over-the-top, but Delsol makes it all work with Kat’s spunky personality, plenty of dry, hip wisecracks (“Jinky shook her head, demonstrating the possible origins of the headbangers brand of dance style”), friendships, rivalries, a little romance and lots of suspense. Readers will care about each character with their distinct personalities, often quirky but acceptable as real humans. The prose trips along, always entertaining, until the story just zooms, even though this plot becomes a bit complex. Best read with the previous two books, the series ends with an unforeseen but rather satisfying surprise. Although Katla’s story may be over, readers will certainly look for more from this talented writer.

The whole trilogy stands out for originality and great entertainment. (Paranormal adventure. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6010-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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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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An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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