Come for the action, stay for the emotional depth.

GAMORA AND NEBULA

SISTERS IN ARMS

From the Marvel Universe YA series , Vol. 2

Estranged sisters Gamora and Nebula race to retrieve the heart of a dying planet, guided by forces beyond their knowledge.

Lee’s latest explores a turning point for two of the Marvel Universe’s most complicated figures. Green-skinned mercenary Gamora sells her skills and connections to the highest bidder—which is usually her father, Thanos. He’s manipulated and pitted his adopted daughters against one another for years but always favors Gamora, leading blue-skinned Nebula to make increasingly desperate attempts to prove her worth; recently, she lost an arm for her trouble. Practical, efficient Gamora doesn’t dwell on the rivalry with her sister: She’s had little reason to doubt their father’s methods or motivations. Gamora’s latest assignment is on Torndune, a once-verdant planet that’s been ravaged for its subterranean deposits of Crowmikite, a valuable energy source. She doesn’t know she’s been followed there by Nebula, who’s also in pursuit of Torndune's heart and who possesses critical information about Gamora’s mission. Everything changes when the sisters reconnect in the midst of a rebellion against the powerful entities who profit from Torndune’s natural resources and discover just who hired Gamora—and why. Gripping and well-choreographed fight sequences—both physical and verbal—establish each sister’s strengths and weaknesses and foreshadow a final confrontation. Transcripts of a chaotic meeting between the Grandmaster and several guests punctuate the sisters’ alternating perspectives.

Come for the action, stay for the emotional depth. (Science fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-02225-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Marvel Press

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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