SEEKER

BOOK ONE OF THE NOBLE WARRIORS

In this spectacular first installment of Nicholson’s new fantasy series, readers meet Seeker for Truth on his eventful 16th birthday: He has a religious vision, sees his brother disgraced and leaves the land of his birth. Aided by two companions, he must disarm an ancient enemy that hunts Seeker’s people, the Nomana, the barrier to the telepathic race’s ability to envelope the world. A tricky, complex plot will snare teens with its sharply rising suspense and a trick or three tucked in throughout. Enough of the story’s threads are tied up in the climax and resolution to satisfy, but there are still questions left to justify sequels. Characters are clearly defined through actions and dialogue, with an excellent balance between “show” and “tell.” Strongly defined secondary characters—including villains—support the complex plot and strengthen the surprising climax and resolution. Expert world-building, great teen characters and complex plot supply a combination with appeal to fans of Nicholson’s Wind on Fire trilogy and other fantasy worlds. Try giving this to readers of Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn series and Garth Nix’s Sabriel saga. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: May 18, 2006

ISBN: 0-15-205768-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2006

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CLOCKWORK ANGEL

From the Infernal Devices series , Vol. 1

A century before the events of Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy, another everyday heroine gets entangled with demon-slaying Shadowhunters. Sixteen-year-old orphaned Tessa comes to London to join her brother but is imprisoned by the grotesque Dark Sisters. The sisters train the unwilling Tessa in previously unknown shapeshifter abilities, preparing her to be a pawn in some diabolical plan. A timely rescue brings Tessa to the Institute, where a group of misfit Shadowhunters struggles to fight evil. Though details differ, the general flavor of Tessa’s new family will be enjoyably familiar to the earlier trilogy’s fans; the most important is Tessa’s rescuer Will, the gorgeous, sharp-tongued teenager with a mysterious past and a smile like “Lucifer might have smiled, moments before he fell from Heaven.” The lush, melodramatic urban fantasy setting of the Shadowhunter world morphs seamlessly into a steampunk Victorian past, and this new series provides the setup for what will surely be a climactic battle against hordes of demonically powered brass clockworks. The tale drags in places, but this crowdpleaser’s tension-filled conclusion ratchets toward a new set of mysteries. (Steampunk. 13-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7586-1

Page Count: 496

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

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BURIED ONIONS

Eddie, a young Mexican-American scraping by in the mean streets of Fresno, California, counts four dead relatives and one dead friend in the opening, in-your-face lines of this new novel from Soto (Snapshots from the Wedding, p. 228, etc.). In bleak sentences of whispered beauty, Eddie tells how he dropped out of vocational college and is attempting to get by with odd jobs. His aunt and friends want him to avenge the recent murder of his cousin, but Eddie just wants to find a way out. Everything he tries turns soura stint doing yard work ends when his boss's truck is stolen on Eddie's watchand life is a daily battle for survival. This unrelenting portrait is unsparing in squalid details: The glue sniffers, gangs, bums, casual knifings, filth, and stench are in the forefront of a life without much hope``Laundry wept from the lines, the faded flags of poor, ignorant, unemployable people.'' Soto plays the tale straightthe only sign of a ``happy'' ending is in Eddie's joining the Navy. The result is a sort of Fresno Salaam Bombay without the pockets of humanity that gave the original its charm. A valuable tale, it's one that makes no concessions. (glossary) (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-201333-4

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1997

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