The intricately woven narrative threads come together in a suspenseful denouement sure to leave readers hoping for another...

THE KNOWING

Nearly 400 years after the events in The Forgetting (2016), Canaan, long abandoned, its whereabouts lost, has devolved into an evil myth, while New Canaan, the rigid, class-stratified community that’s replaced it, faces growing threats, internal and external.

New Canaan’s rulers, the Knowing, live underground and are served by Outsiders, impoverished surface dwellers. The Knowing have perfect memory; to recall is to re-experience events as if for the first time. For those like black-haired, brown-skinned Samara who are unable to “cache,” or repress traumatic memories, suicide is common. Secretly helping Outsiders, Samara may have unintentionally endangered them. Tortured by horrific memories, she escapes to find Canaan’s ruins and to Forget. There, she runs into Beckett and Jill, two Americans from Earth’s spaceship Centauri III, its mission to learn the fate of predecessor missions. Beckett, multiracial (Chinese/Latinx) son of two anthropologists, is intrigued by Samara, who talks them into returning to New Canaan with her. His growing chemistry with Samara angers Jill, the bright, blonde, white daughter of an archaeologist. Uneasy with Jill’s ambition and expectations, Beckett’s alarmed by his father’s warning that Centauri III has a secret agenda, one that Jill may share. New Canaan, too, has surprises in store, including a burgeoning rebellion. Diverse, well-drawn characters abound, but in the riveting power struggles that ensue, women are dominant players, ruthless ideologues willing to sacrifice all that interferes with the goal.

The intricately woven narrative threads come together in a suspenseful denouement sure to leave readers hoping for another installment. (Science fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-94524-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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An entertaining fantasy set in a world that readers will want to revisit.

THESE HOLLOW VOWS

Brie risks the deadly land of the Fae to save her sister.

Brie doesn’t trust many people other than Jas, her eternally hopeful sister, and Sebastian, mage apprentice and Brie’s secret love (as if she had time for romance). Brie struggles to meet the payments for the magical contracts binding their lives to Madame Vivias, supplementing her cleaning work by stealing from the rich. While the land of Faerie tempts other girls with word of a castle, a lavish ball, and a fae prince seeking a wife, Brie mistrusts the creatures who capitalize on humanity’s greed. When Jas’ contract is sold to the fae, Brie braves the golden Seelie queen’s court, meets the noble Prince Ronan, and travels on to the Unseelie king’s shadow court. In the process she discovers love, historical secrets, atrocities, and her own hidden strength. While many elements regarding the fae and a love triangle will feel familiar to fans of the genre, and the magic could have been more fleshed out, discussions of power, inequity, trust, and hope expand the worldbuilding in refreshing ways. Similarly, consideration of the balance between truth and secrets, lies and stories, is intriguing as it’s applied to characters, relationships, and historical lore. Despite certain predictable reveals, the plot itself, which starts off slowly, picks up and is pleasantly convoluted with multiple satisfying surprises. Major human characters read as White.

An entertaining fantasy set in a world that readers will want to revisit. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: July 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-38657-5

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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A purple page turner.

CLOCKWORK PRINCE

From the Infernal Devices series , Vol. 2

This sequel to Clockwork Angel (2010) pits gorgeous, attractively broken teens against a menacing evil.

There's betrayal, mayhem and clockwork monstrosities, and the Shadowhunters have only two weeks to discover—oh, who are we kidding? The plot is only surprisingly tasty icing on this cupcake of a melodramatic love triangle. Our heroes are Tessa, who may or may not be a warlock, and the beautiful Shadowhunter warrior boys who are moths to her forbidden flame. It's not always clear why Tessa prefers Will to his beloved (and only) friend Jem, the dying, silver-eyed, biracial sweetheart with the face of an angel. Jem, after all, is gentle and kind, her dearest confidante; Will is unpleasant to everyone around him. But poor, wretched Will—who "would have been pretty if he had not been so tall and so muscular"—has a deep, dark, thoroughly emo secret. His trauma puts all previous romantic difficulties to shame, from the Capulet/Montague feud all the way to Edward Cullen's desire to chomp on Bella Swan. Somehow there's room for an interesting steampunk mystery amid all this angst. The supporting characters (unusually well-developed for a love-triangle romance) include multiple compelling young women who show strength in myriad ways. So what if there are anachronisms, character inconsistencies and weird tonal slips? There's too much overwrought fun to care.

A purple page turner. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7588-5

Page Count: 528

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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