A thrilling conclusion to a beautifully crafted, heart-stopping trilogy.

THRIVE

From the Overthrow series , Vol. 3

This is the moment teens Seth, Anaya, and Petra have both been anticipating and dreading ever since aliens called cryptogens began attempting to colonize the Earth: the chance to defend their planet.

In an earlier volume, Seth, Anaya, and Petra began growing physical characteristics that made them realize they were half alien. Seth has wings, Petra has a tail, and Anaya has fur. They also have the power of telepathy, which Anaya uses to converse with Terra, a cryptogen rebel looking for human allies who could help stop the invasion of Earth. Terra plans to use a virus stored in the three teens’ bodies to disarm the flyers, which are the winged aliens that are both masterminding the invasion and enslaving the other species of cryptogens known as swimmers and runners. But Terra and her allies can’t pull any of this off without the help of Anaya, Seth, and Petra. Although the trio is anxious about their abilities, they don’t have much of a choice—the entire human race is depending on them for salvation. Like its predecessors, this trilogy closer is fast-paced and well structured. Despite its post-apocalyptic setting, the story is fundamentally character driven, and it is incredibly satisfying to watch each protagonist overcome their inner battles within the context of the larger human-alien war. Main characters read as White.

A thrilling conclusion to a beautifully crafted, heart-stopping trilogy. (Science fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984894-80-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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Series fans may enjoy this patched-together prelude.

RISE OF THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL

From the School for Good and Evil series

Twin wizards duel, fret, switch roles, and fall for the same guy in this prequel to the popular series.

Continuing on the theme that it isn’t as easy to distinguish good from evil as it might seem, Chainani goes back to a time when the titular school was run by a pair of immortal adolescents. School Masters Rhian and Rafal have been told that loving one another is the only way to maintain the balance between Good and Evil at the school, but a long run of folk and fairy tales written out by the mysterious pen called the Storian—in which Good triumphs—has led to a fraternal rift. The assignment of decided scapegrace Aladdin to, astonishingly, the School for Good widens the antagonism (could the Storian have made a mistake?). But though Aladdin is the main point-of-view character for major stretches in the early going, no sooner does he hook up with dazzling schoolmate Princess Kyma than the author shoves him deep into the supporting cast to make room for a jealousy-fueled break and some bad behavior that comes when first Rafal then Rhian lock gazes and lips with pirate trainee James Hook (latest of a long line of villains defeated by a certain other ageless teen). Most of the cast reads as White. Lush but rare illustrations underscore dramatic incidents.

Series fans may enjoy this patched-together prelude. (Fantasy. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-316152-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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A few promising, even brilliant bits are lost in an ill-constructed jumble of warring plotlines and ambiguous agendas.

CHILDREN OF THE FLYING CITY

As fleets of hostile warships gather over a floating city, a young thief finds himself the object of an urgent manhunt.

Readers can be excused for coming away bewildered by Sheehan’s competing storylines, disconnected events, genre-bending revelations, and refusal to fit any of the major players in the all-White–presenting cast consistently into the roles of villain, ally, or even protagonist. Continually shifting through points of view and annoyingly punctuated with an omniscient narrator’s portentous commentary, the tale centers on the exploits of 12-year-old street urchin Milo Quick and his squad of juvenile ragamuffins (seemingly juvenile at any rate; one is eventually revealed to be something else entirely) in an aerial city of Dickensian squalor threatened by a multinational flying armada. Though a lot of people are after Milo, ranging from the swashbuckling crew of a flying privateer hired (ostensibly) to kidnap him and a vengeful punk bent on bloody murder to a sinister truant officer paid lavishly by mysterious parties to watch over him, he ultimately winds up—or so it seems—being no more than a red herring all along. The actual target is revealed piecemeal in conversations and flashbacks before the commencement of a climactic bombardment and an abrupt cutoff in which three side characters, miraculously shrugging off multiple knife and bullet wounds, themselves suddenly take center stage to set up a sequel.

A few promising, even brilliant bits are lost in an ill-constructed jumble of warring plotlines and ambiguous agendas. (Science fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-10951-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2022

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