A provocative and page-turning thriller/romance that gets at the heart of what it means to be human.

THE LOST GIRL

A compelling novel of a girl created to "replace" another in the event of her death.

She has always known that she is an "echo," stitched by the Weavers from bits of a girl called Amarra to step into her place should her original die. Though Amarra lives half a world away, in Bangalore, her echo has grown up in her shadow. She has a clutch of guardians who work for the Loom, keeping her safe and grooming her for the day she might be needed. They also love her and allow her small rebellions, like the name—Eva—she chooses for herself. But she is forbidden to read Frankenstein. Being an echo is dangerous, even where they are legal; many regard them as soulless monsters, and some even hunt them to death. And if her original's family decides they do not want her, she is subject to a Sleep Order: "unstitching." Mandanna sets Eva's story in present-day England and India, a deliberately and effectively jarring choice. She keeps the Loom's technology a mystery, indicating its workings through glimpses and never using the prosaic "clone," and focuses on Eva's experience. Both an interrogation of bioethics and a mesmerizing quest for identity, this debut succeeds through its careful development of the oh-so-human Eva and those around her.

A provocative and page-turning thriller/romance that gets at the heart of what it means to be human. (Science fiction. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-208231-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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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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A slow-burn romance but a burnout of a plot.

WILD IS THE WITCH

A young witch unintentionally releases a fatal curse in this frenemies-to-lovers romance.

The Foggy Mountain Wildlife Refuge on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is the perfect place for Iris Gray and her mother, who, as witches, have a special affinity for helping animals but keep their magic secret. College intern Pike Alder, who assists at the sanctuary, has an incredible talent for getting under Iris’ skin and freely expresses his intense dislike and mistrust of witches. When she reaches her boiling point with his arrogance, Iris comes up with a spell to work through her frustration. Unfortunately, her magic goes awry, and the curse that should have burned away without impact instead goes into an injured owl that takes flight, leaving the sanctuary behind. With Pike accompanying her for safety at her mother’s insistence, Iris sets out into the forest to find the owl; if it dies before Iris can reverse the spell, the curse could burn Pike alive. The Pacific Northwest rainforest setting is palpable as the two trek through the backcountry in search of the owl, and their banter moves the story forward as romantic feelings start to build. Unfortunately, Iris’ repetitive internal dialogue, always reminding readers of the stakes, lessens any tension and makes subsequent scenes feel inevitable. Characters are cued as White.

A slow-burn romance but a burnout of a plot. (Fantasy romance. 13-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72822-945-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

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