Long but intriguing, and sometimes exciting—the payoff is in the future.

PASSENGER

From the Passenger series , Vol. 1

A dedicated violinist finds her life taking a different turn when she learns that she is a time traveler in this series opener.

Etta is 17 and ready to make her musical debut near her home in New York City when she finds herself suddenly catapulted onto a sailing ship in 1776. With her is Sophia, a rival time traveler who explains that the ability runs in families. Etta soon learns that her mother has hidden, somewhere in time, a valuable and dangerous object that, in the wrong hands, could cause catastrophic damage to time. Sadly, Etta herself falls into the wrong hands but agrees to try to find the object, following clues her mother left through time. Fortunately, Nicholas, a biracial former slave, also has the ability, and he joins Etta—but is he working with her or against her? Never mind his motive, however, because the two eventually fall in love. Bracken keeps pages turning with her descriptions of the different destinations the couple explores, including 1940 London and 1685 Angkor. Nicholas, a sailor who dreams of owning his own ship, speaks modern English perhaps too well, but his reactions to technology such as electricity and buses ring fairly true. The author places more focus on suspense than on romance, which she develops slowly. Already lengthy, the book ends with a cliffhanger and clearly more to come.

Long but intriguing, and sometimes exciting—the payoff is in the future. (Fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4847-1577-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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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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Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love.

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LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB

Finally, the intersectional, lesbian, historical teen novel so many readers have been waiting for.

Lily Hu has spent all her life in San Francisco’s Chinatown, keeping mostly to her Chinese American community both in and out of school. As she makes her way through her teen years in the 1950s, she starts growing apart from her childhood friends as her passion for rockets and space exploration grows—along with her curiosity about a few blocks in the city that her parents have warned her to avoid. A budding relationship develops with her first White friend, Kathleen, and together they sneak out to the Telegraph Club lesbian bar, where they begin to explore their sexuality as well as their relationship to each other. Lo’s lovely, realistic, and queer-positive tale is a slow burn, following Lily’s own gradual realization of her sexuality while she learns how to code-switch between being ostensibly heterosexual Chinatown Lily and lesbian Telegraph Bar Lily. In this meticulously researched title, Lo skillfully layers rich details, such as how Lily has to deal with microaggressions from gay and straight women alike and how all of Chinatown has to be careful of the insidious threat of McCarthyism. Actual events, such as Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s 1943 visit to San Francisco, form a backdrop to this story of a journey toward finding one’s authentic self.

Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love. (author’s note) (Historical romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-55525-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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