An essential tome for die-hard Star Wars fans, although others will find much to enjoy.

STAR WARS THE HIGH REPUBLIC

OUT OF THE SHADOWS

As the dastardly Nihil inflict turmoil and bloodshed in the Outer Rim, the Republic and Jedi Order scramble to eliminate the space pirates and bring peace to the galaxy.

Rumors abound of ships forced out of hyperspace into realspace and then disappearing; the Nihil threat, it seems, is growing bolder and fiercer. Following the mysterious death of her mother, 18-year-old Sylvestri Yarrow is struggling to survive as a hauler. Then the Nihil launch a sudden attack on her ship in the Berenge sector, a rarely traveled part of space. Fleeing to Coruscant to alert the Republic, Syl falls into a political quagmire involving one of the wealthiest families in the galaxy as well as the strangely coveted Berenge sector, which might be crucial to the Nihil’s hyperspace disruptions. The whole ordeal pulls a quartet of Jedi into the mix: Jedi Master Cohmac Vitus; his Padawan, Reath Silas; Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh; and her Padawan, Imri Cantaros. Meanwhile, concerns over the Order’s involvement with the Republic in its campaign against the Nihil plague the four Jedis. Containing a dizzying number of overarching storylines and characters, this latest installment set in the High Republic era nonetheless excels, with enough political intrigue and intricate thrills once it yanks its disparate threads together. Per usual, Ireland’s firm grasp of this universe keeps it all from running amok.

An essential tome for die-hard Star Wars fans, although others will find much to enjoy. (timeline) (Science fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: July 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-06065-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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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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