Nevertheless, it’s an above-average addition to the updated-mythology genre and a satisfying conclusion for the series’ fans.

UNGODLY

From the Goddess War series , Vol. 3

The Goddess War trilogy concludes.

It isn’t tidy, but everything resolves in this final act for the Greek gods, led by Athena with help from Hermes, Calypso, Ares, and Aphrodite, who are all dying of maladies appropriate to their individual natures. Heroic mortals Cassandra, Hector, Odysseus, and Andromache have been reincarnated as modern teenagers—all of whom Achilles is bent on destroying, as are other enemies. In Mortal Gods (2014), the group broke up when they attacked Olympus. Now three small groups travel independently, still trying to find the cause of their imminent mortality. With help from Thanatos, the god of death, they finally discover who is behind it all. Like Rick Riordan before her, Blake has clearly had a good time modernizing the gods and heroes, but the difficulty in the imaginative series lies in the too-large cast. Given mostly equal weight, the characters banter and quip their ways through their adventures, each speaking in much the same modern and rather cynical voice. While readers can care about them, especially Athena and Hermes, the cast is simply too numerous and the threat, too abstract for a strong focus. Still, readers can enjoy the journey and the hip dialogue, punctuated by a few brief fights.

Nevertheless, it’s an above-average addition to the updated-mythology genre and a satisfying conclusion for the series’ fans. (Paranormal adventure. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7653-3445-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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An immersive tale of brave, vulnerable teens facing threats both real and fantastic.

ALL OUR HIDDEN GIFTS

An Irish teen grapples with past misdeeds and newfound ties to magic.

When 16-year-old Maeve discovers a deck of tarot cards stashed with a mixtape of moody indie music from 1990, she starts giving readings for her classmates at her all-girls private school. Though her shame over dumping her strange friend Lily during an attempt to climb the social ladder at St. Bernadette’s is still palpable, it doesn’t stop her from trying to use the tarot in her favor to further this goal. However, after speaking harsh words to Lily during a reading, Maeve is horrified when her former friend later disappears. As she struggles to understand the forces at play within her, classmate Fiona proves to be just the friend Maeve needs. Detailed, interesting characters carry this contemporary story of competing energy and curses. Woven delicately throughout are chillingly eerie depictions of the Housekeeper, a figure who shows up on an extra card in the deck, echoing the White Lady legend from Irish folklore. Even more disturbing is an organization of young people led by a homophobic but charismatic figurehead intent on provoking backlash against Ireland’s recent civil rights victories. Most characters are White; Fiona is biracial, with a Filipina mother and White Irish father. Roe, Maeve’s love interest and Lily’s sibling, is a bisexual, genderqueer person who is a target for intolerance in their small city of Kilbeg.

An immersive tale of brave, vulnerable teens facing threats both real and fantastic. (Paranormal. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1394-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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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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