Full measures indeed of love and suffering…and bloodshed too: Fans will sail through and clamor for more.

CHAIN OF IRON

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 2

Both warring hearts and (literally) fiendish schemes keep the upcoming generation of demon-fighting Shadowhunters on their toes in this midtrilogy doorstopper.

Set in 1903 and centered on a love triangle involving the well-bred offspring of part-angel Nephilim last met in the Infernal Devices series, this episode carries on from Chain of Gold (2020) as golden-eyed James Herondale and Persian/British Cordelia Carstairs, wielder of the legendary blade Cortana, are wed in what—due to the workings of various spells and ill-concealed feelings—they think will be only a marriage of convenience while third-wheel Grace Blackthorn uses her power to cloud people’s minds and further the machinations of her deranged foster mother. Meanwhile, with Nephilim suddenly being slaughtered Jack the Ripper–style and other mysterious doings in the background, friendships are tested amid the efforts of supporting cast members to follow the leads in chaste but steamy couplings, requited and otherwise, same-sex and otherwise, even living and…otherwise. A brief but desperate climactic battle drives off a demonic incursion, but worse is plainly to come. “The gods are walking,” a character remarks, “and none of us are prepared.” Also, as an emotionally wracked James reflects in the aftermath, “We suffer for love because love is worth it.” The wealthy, cosmopolitan cast of Londoners includes some ethnic diversity. Illustrations not seen.

Full measures indeed of love and suffering…and bloodshed too: Fans will sail through and clamor for more. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3190-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

SCYTHE

From the Arc of a Scythe series , Vol. 1

Two teens train to be society-sanctioned killers in an otherwise immortal world.

On post-mortal Earth, humans live long (if not particularly passionate) lives without fear of disease, aging, or accidents. Operating independently of the governing AI (called the Thunderhead since it evolved from the cloud), scythes rely on 10 commandments, quotas, and their own moral codes to glean the population. After challenging Hon. Scythe Faraday, 16-year-olds Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova reluctantly become his apprentices. Subjected to killcraft training, exposed to numerous executions, and discouraged from becoming allies or lovers, the two find themselves engaged in a fatal competition but equally determined to fight corruption and cruelty. The vivid and often violent action unfolds slowly, anchored in complex worldbuilding and propelled by political machinations and existential musings. Scythes’ journal entries accompany Rowan’s and Citra’s dual and dueling narratives, revealing both personal struggles and societal problems. The futuristic post–2042 MidMerican world is both dystopia and utopia, free of fear, unexpected death, and blatant racism—multiracial main characters discuss their diverse ethnic percentages rather than purity—but also lacking creativity, emotion, and purpose. Elegant and elegiac, brooding but imbued with gallows humor, Shusterman’s dark tale thrusts realistic, likable teens into a surreal situation and raises deep philosophic questions.

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7242-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love.

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  • Stonewall Book Awards Winner

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LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB

Finally, the intersectional, lesbian, historical teen novel so many readers have been waiting for.

Lily Hu has spent all her life in San Francisco’s Chinatown, keeping mostly to her Chinese American community both in and out of school. As she makes her way through her teen years in the 1950s, she starts growing apart from her childhood friends as her passion for rockets and space exploration grows—along with her curiosity about a few blocks in the city that her parents have warned her to avoid. A budding relationship develops with her first White friend, Kathleen, and together they sneak out to the Telegraph Club lesbian bar, where they begin to explore their sexuality as well as their relationship to each other. Lo’s lovely, realistic, and queer-positive tale is a slow burn, following Lily’s own gradual realization of her sexuality while she learns how to code-switch between being ostensibly heterosexual Chinatown Lily and lesbian Telegraph Bar Lily. In this meticulously researched title, Lo skillfully layers rich details, such as how Lily has to deal with microaggressions from gay and straight women alike and how all of Chinatown has to be careful of the insidious threat of McCarthyism. Actual events, such as Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s 1943 visit to San Francisco, form a backdrop to this story of a journey toward finding one’s authentic self.

Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love. (author’s note) (Historical romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-55525-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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