A page-turner that gives the heroic Stonekeepers plenty of chances to show their stuff and moves the main story along an...

ESCAPE FROM LUCIEN

From the Amulet series , Vol. 6

Wraithlike attackers force a mass evacuation and a cryptic prophecy’s meaning begins to clear in this headlong continuation of Kibuishi’s deservedly popular series.

The action picks up in midflight as Navin and companions survive the destruction of their giant robot suits, then help the fleeing survivors of the city of Lucien by fighting a rear-guard action against swarms of diaphanous, cat-eyed, zombie-making Dark Scouts. Meanwhile Emily, Trellis and Vigo reluctantly join traitorous elf Max Griffin in another visit to the Voice’s realm of memories that leads to the death of a major character—along with a rescue, reunions with old friends and a lead-in to the next episode. Though the ongoing plotlines and large cast make familiarity with earlier outings a necessity, this one still features a crowd-pleasing blend of lively dialogue (“And I don’t care what the prophecies say. You’re still a slacker”), easy-to-follow, nonstop action, elves, robots and derring-do amid awesome sound effects (“D-DOOOM SHHAAAAAA,” “SZRAK!”). Most of the cleanly drawn, lushly backgrounded panels focus on faces, with occasional full-spread scenes adding dramatic visual highlights.

A page-turner that gives the heroic Stonekeepers plenty of chances to show their stuff and moves the main story along an inch or two. (Graphic fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-43315-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

However tried and true, the Harry Potter–esque elements and set pieces don’t keep this cumbersome coming-of-age tale afloat,...

EXILE

From the Keeper of the Lost Cities series , Vol. 2

Full-blown middle-volume-itis leaves this continuation of the tale of a teenage elf who has been genetically modified for so-far undisclosed purposes dead in the water.

As the page count burgeons, significant plot developments slow to a trickle. Thirteen-year-old Sophie manifests yet more magical powers while going head-to-head with hostile members of the Lost Cities Council and her own adoptive elvin father, Grady, over whether the clandestine Black Swan cabal, her apparent creators and (in the previous episode) kidnappers, are allies or enemies. Messenger tries to lighten the tone by dressing Sophie and her classmates at the Hogwarts-ian Foxfire Academy as mastodons for a silly opening ceremony and by having her care for an alicorn—a winged unicorn so magnificent that even its poop sparkles. It’s not enough; two sad memorial services, a trip to a dreary underground prison, a rash of adult characters succumbing to mental breakdowns and a frequently weepy protagonist who is increasingly shunned as “the girl who was taken” give the tale a soggy texture. Also, despite several cryptic clues and a late attack by hooded figures, neither the identity nor the agenda of the Black Swan comes closer to being revealed.

However tried and true, the Harry Potter–esque elements and set pieces don’t keep this cumbersome coming-of-age tale afloat, much less under way. (Fantasy 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4596-3

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An entertaining continuation to a magical series that celebrates diversity with a magical twist.

WISHED

From the Fairy Tale Reform School series , Vol. 5

With Rumpelstiltskin and his band of villains still on the loose, the students and staff of Fairy Tale Reform School are on high alert as they prepare for the next attack.

Classes are devoted to teaching battle techniques and conjuring new weapons, which narrator Gilly finds preferable to learning history or manners. But Maxine, her ogress friend, has had it with all the doom and gloom. The last straw is when the agenda at the Royal Lady-in-Waiting meeting is changed from “How to Plan the Perfect Fairy Garden Party” to designing flying rocks and creating flower darts. While on a class field trip to the village to investigate their future careers, Maxine finds a magic lamp housing a genie named Darlene. Her wish that everyone be happy works a little too well. War preparations are put on hold as the school fills with flowers, laughter, and plans for a musical production. But when Gilly is tapped to fill in for the local chief of the dwarf police, things really take a turn for the worse. The students, including fairies, ogres, and the part-human/part-beast offspring of Beauty and the ex-Beast, focus on friendship and supporting one another in spite of their differences. Humility, forgiveness, and loyalty are also highly regarded in the FTRS community. Human Gilly is white, but there is racial as well as species diversity at FTRS.

An entertaining continuation to a magical series that celebrates diversity with a magical twist. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5167-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more