Explosive.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2021

  • New York Times Bestseller

MISTER IMPOSSIBLE

From the Dreamer Trilogy series , Vol. 2

Whether dreamed or crafted, art engenders life.

Creation and destruction, art and mimicry, power and disenfranchisement: The world requires balance, but the Lynch brothers, standing at the center of it all, have always tended to extremes. Although Ronan continues to be the pivot, the dreams take precedence: Jordan finds herself as a maker rather than a forger while Matthew grapples with who he is now that he understands he was dreamed. Power dynamics have shifted following the showdown between the dreamers and the Moderators. Three groups—the dreamers, the dreams, plus a rogue Moderator/Visionary team, each selfish, amoral, and deeply sympathetic in turn—circle one another, trying to change or save the world, or dreams, or themselves, or all of the above. The dreamers want open ley lines and the freedom to dream. The dreamed want to live free of their dreamers. Farooq-Lane wants to stop killing but still stop the dreamers. More meditative than the first volume, this complexly plotted wonder offers little to reorient readers but much to engage them. Stiefvater’s pitch-perfect prose, detached and full of precise details, creates a tension that never lets up until the zinger of an ending that will leave fans gasping. The Lynch brothers are White; Jordan is Black, and Farooq-Lane’s name cues some Middle Eastern heritage.

Explosive. (Fantasy. 13-adult)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-18836-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

A different kind of fairy tale, for older and wiser readers.

BRAVELY

Disney adaptations are familiar, but this title marks a new gambit: a novel sequel that accepts the source movie, Brave, as canon.

Merida, now nearly 20, has negotiated a truce with her mother (they never talk about betrothals or marriage) and traveled the kingdom learning new things. But little has changed otherwise: The triplets are still a force of chaos, Merida prefers archery to embroidery, the kingdom is at peace, and magic is at rest. That is, until Feradach, the god who brings ruin in order to make room for growth, threatens to destroy everything Merida loves unless she can change her family enough to end their stagnation. This is still clearly a fairy-tale world, but Stiefvater’s understanding of medieval history (briefly detailed in the author’s note) grounds it, as does the very believable nature of Merida’s conflict: Saving what she loves means transforming it beyond what she knows. The episodic structure as Merida takes on three journeys, each with different family members, moves more slowly than the movie, but the depth of characterization—as shown in Feradach and Queen Elinor in particular—is nuanced and noteworthy. Readers who spent their childhoods watching Merida engage with magic will readily fall under her spell again as she negotiates the hardest challenge of all: growing up. All characters are assumed White.

A different kind of fairy tale, for older and wiser readers. (Historical fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-368-07134-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Disney Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more