A story wondrous fine, full of terrors and marvels.

FOULSHAM

From the Iremonger series , Vol. 2

The middle volume of the Iremonger trilogy escalates in both suspense and strangeness.

In a fantastical Victorian London, the Iremongers have become wealthy, eccentric outcasts through managing the city’s rubbish, protecting themselves by the secret ability to change people into talismanic objects—and vice versa. After defying his family, Clod Iremonger is transformed into a gold coin, while his beloved Lucy Pennant becomes a clay button, cast into the vast heaps of garbage. As Clod is passed around by the downtrodden folk of Foulsham and Lucy befriends Binadit (the exiled “It of the Heaps”), the macabre past, despicable doings, and sinister plans of the Iremonger clan are slowly unveiled. Along the way, Carey’s splendidly deranged imagination and deliciously peculiar prose are on display, introducing a Dickensian cast simultaneously pathetic and grotesque. The lead couple gains depth as well; sweet, kind Clod, “the friend of things,” discovers unexpected talents and surprising fortitude, while cynical, light-fingered Lucy reveals a new, fierce tenderness and revolutionary zeal. Their parallel storylines dance without intersecting, finally reuniting only to be torn apart in a climax of apocalyptic industrial horror. Beyond the gripping adventure and creepy illustrations, the premise demands consideration of the tendency of raw capitalism to make people and things both interchangeable and disposable.

A story wondrous fine, full of terrors and marvels. (Horror. 11 & up)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4683-0954-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Overlook

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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

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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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Though constrained, the work nevertheless stands apart in a literature that too often finds it hard to look hard truths in...

DEAR MARTIN

In this roller-coaster ride of a debut, the author summons the popular legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. to respond to the recent tragic violence befalling unarmed black men and boys.

Seventeen-year-old black high school senior Justyce McAllister, a full-scholarship student at the virtually all-white Braselton Prep, is the focus. After a bloody run-in with the police when they take his good deed for malice, Justyce seeks meaning in a series of letters with his “homie” Dr. King. He writes, “I thought if I made sure to be an upstanding member of society, I’d be exempt from the stuff THOSE black guys deal with, you know?” While he’s ranked fourth in his graduating class and well-positioned for the Ivy League, Justyce is coming to terms with the fact that there’s not as much that separates him from “THOSE black guys” as he’d like to believe. Despite this, Stone seems to position Justyce and his best friend as the decidedly well-mannered black children who are deserving of readers’ sympathies. They are not those gangsters that can be found in Justyce’s neighborhood. There’s nuance to be found for sure, but not enough to upset the dominant narrative. What if they weren’t the successful kids? While the novel intentionally leaves more questions than it attempts to answer, there are layers that still remain between the lines.

Though constrained, the work nevertheless stands apart in a literature that too often finds it hard to look hard truths in the face. Take interest and ask questions. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93949-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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