An adrenaline-pumping action story with timely themes and lasting resonance thanks to the focus on the characters’ humanity.

OBSIDIO

From the Illuminae Files series , Vol. 3

Insurgents among the remaining Kerenza IV colonists must sabotage and delay BeiTech to stay alive long enough for survivors from Illuminae (2015) and Gemina (2016) to return and give them a fighting chance.

Rhys Lindstrom, a handsome blond techie space Marine-type, and Asha Grant, a pharmacy intern and Kady Grant’s light brown-skinned cousin, are on opposite sides—spelling trouble for this star-crossed couple. Rhys works for occupying BeiTech, while Asha’s in the resistance. Rhys has been working on the Magellan’s (nearly complete) repairs but is reassigned to the surface to maintain the crumbling colony’s infrastructure as BeiTech finishes replenishing their hermium supply so they can leave the system. Some of the (fatal) technical difficulties are the result of sabotage by colonist resisters who know that when BeiTech no longer needs them that they’re likely to be liquidated just as the “nonessential” colonists were. With Rhys horrified by the planetary situation and seeking to reconnect with his ex Asha, the resistance turns to him for a Hail Mary plan. Meanwhile, the consolidated Hypatia and Heimdall crews face tight resources, tense leadership struggles (including pushback from adults not wanting to take orders from teens), and impossible choices as they race to the colony for a long-shot rescue mission. Design as tightly controlled as the plot clarifies complicated situations and provides visceral emotional gut punches.

An adrenaline-pumping action story with timely themes and lasting resonance thanks to the focus on the characters’ humanity. (Science fiction. 13-adult)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-553-49919-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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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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Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love.

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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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