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Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1954

ISBN: 0399501487

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Coward-McCann

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1955

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A contemporary hero’s journey, brilliantly told.

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The 17-year-old son of a troubled rock star is determined to find his own way in life and love.

On the verge of adulthood, Blade Morrison wants to leave his father’s bad-boy reputation for drug-and-alcohol–induced antics and his sister’s edgy lifestyle behind. The death of his mother 10 years ago left them all without an anchor. Named for the black superhero, Blade shares his family’s connection to music but resents the paparazzi that prevent him from having an open relationship with the girl that he loves. However, there is one secret even Blade is unaware of, and when his sister reveals the truth of his heritage during a bitter fight, Blade is stunned. When he finally gains some measure of equilibrium, he decides to investigate, embarking on a search that will lead him to a small, remote village in Ghana. Along the way, he meets people with a sense of purpose, especially Joy, a young Ghanaian who helps him despite her suspicions of Americans. This rich novel in verse is full of the music that forms its core. In addition to Alexander and co-author Hess’ skilled use of language, references to classic rock songs abound. Secondary characters add texture to the story: does his girlfriend have real feelings for Blade? Is there more to his father than his inability to stay clean and sober? At the center is Blade, fully realized and achingly real in his pain and confusion.

A contemporary hero’s journey, brilliantly told. (Verse fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-310-76183-9

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Blink

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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A nonstop adventure with plenty of magic and romance to draw in avid YA fantasy fans.


In this second installment of Owen’s YA fantasy series, a young woman impersonates her twin sister, a queen, while fighting for her own life.

After the events of The Liars Crown (2022), Meren has successfully impersonated her twin sister, Tabra, as the queen of Aryd; her sibling is currently hiding in the desert. But her sister’s evil husband, King Eidolon, knows the truth and has magically bound Meren to him with a sand nymph’s curse. The secret of his apparent immortality is still a mystery, but he somehow sheds “shadows” (“fractured, evil pieces of the king’s soul”) to create younger versions of himself—and his queens are always sacrificed to make it possible. However, one of these shadows, Reven, has managed to fight off the evil that permeates his nature. He and Meren have fallen in love, although he’s forced to constantly fight the shadows still contained within himself: “Their screams are like ragged blades shredding my insides as they try to claw their way out,” he narrates at one point. “If I look down, I know I’ll see their faces bulging out of my skin, even under my clothing.” Reven mounts a daring mission to rescue Meren alongside Cain, a member of a nomadic tribe known as the Wanderers who also vies for her heart. The most engaging adventures begin as the main characters attempt to defeat Eidolon’s shadows once and for all; Meren has power over sand and Reven has power over shadows, but those abilities become unreliable, which effectively puts them all in danger. Fans of Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series will find much to enjoy in Owen’s work, which features plenty of fast-paced action and sexy-but-forbidden romance. Meren’s tendency to deliver sassy quips also provides a feeling of lightness to the author’s well-drawn and immersive fantasy world, and a jaw-dropping cliffhanger ensures that there’s more story to be told.

A nonstop adventure with plenty of magic and romance to draw in avid YA fantasy fans.

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9781649372819

Page Count: 460

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2023

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