A page-turning adventure that, though imperfect, highlights a rich and relatively unknown mythological heritage that begs to...

THE SEVENTH SUN

From the Age of the Seventh Sun series , Vol. 1

Mesoamerican mythology gets a long overdue epic fantasy treatment.

Prince Ahkin is immersed in interpreting concerning signs among the stars when he receives the tragic news of his father’s passing. With his untimely death, the mantle of leadership for the Chicome people falls to Ahkin. In order to ascend the throne, Ahkin must choose a wife from among the royal daughters who, like him, are descended from the gods. Each has been blessed with unique abilities through the blood of their ancestors, but the first to catch his eye is the tempestuous Mayana. Descended from the goddess of water, Atlacoya, Mayana’s compassion and courage are quickly apparent. As she falls for the young prince however, her empathic heart leads her to question the blood sacrifice on which the religious traditions and future of the empire hinge. Can she lead a people whose traditions she cannot agree with? Though debut author Forbes uses Aztec mythology as her inspiration, she takes poetic license with the actual history and geography of the Aztec empire, downplaying the role of human sacrifice and including locations and deities not found in the original Aztec tradition. In the vein of Percy Jackson, take these wanderings from the source material with a grain of salt and simply enjoy the captivating story.

A page-turning adventure that, though imperfect, highlights a rich and relatively unknown mythological heritage that begs to be explored. (map, author’s note) (Fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9825-4609-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Blackstone

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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