Less a straightforward horrorfest than a tasty adventure for any reader with an appetite for the…peculiar.

HOLLOW CITY

THE SECOND NOVEL OF MISS PEREGRINE'S PECULIAR CHILDREN

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 2

Along with picking up the action where it left off in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2011), Riggs fills in background detail while adding both talking animals and more children with magical powers to the cast.

With evil wights and murderous hollowgasts in hot pursuit—and only days to save their beloved Miss Peregrine from permanently becoming a bird—Jacob and his nine young (in body, if not age) companions fling themselves through time loops to Blitz-torn London. The growing attachment between Jacob and kindhearted fire-conjurer Emma turns out to play a crucial role in the plot. After a brisk round of chases, captures, escapes and bombings—capped by a devastating reversal—the two end up separated from most of their allies but with a new talent that just might save “peculiardom” from its seemingly all-powerful enemies. As before, the author spins his tale in part around a crop of enigmatic vintage trick or portrait photographs, including two men (corpses?) sharing a bed with skeletons, a pipe-smoking dog and a staring girl with a huge hole through her midsection. Though less of a novelty here than in the opener, these still add distinctly creepy notes (even when the subject is supposedly comical) to a tale already well-stocked with soul eaters and tentacled monsters.

Less a straightforward horrorfest than a tasty adventure for any reader with an appetite for the…peculiar. (Fantasy. 11-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59474-612-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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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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