Snappy dialogue and well-paced excitement bring this adventure to its ambiguous but nevertheless satisfying conclusion

ARCADIA FALLS

From the Arcadia Trilogy series , Vol. 3

The Arcadia trilogy concludes with magic, shootouts, family betrayals and a cruise ship full of monsters: everything that’s necessary for a romance about Cosa Nostra shape shifters.

After the death of her aunt and sister, Rosa has become head of the Alcantara dynasty of Sicilian mobsters. She’s made nothing but enemies among her own family—because of her romance with Alessandro, head of the rival Carnevare family, because she’s cleaning up the least savory of her family’s criminal enterprises or simply because she’s an outsider—and soon, she and Alessandro are on the run, framed for a murder they didn’t commit. Since the discovery that she can turn into a 9-foot-long snake (while Alessandro can become an enormous panther), Rosa has learned not to be surprised by anything. Still, new discoveries (both magical and mundane) strain her credulity to the breaking point. A friend whose corpse she’s seen appears to be alive. Rosa’s dead father, seemingly involved in the rape and abortion that originally sent Rosa to Sicily, is connected to dark mob business and mad science. As they seek answers, revenge or at least a quiet moment, Alessandro and Rosa face certain doom with believably affectionate bickering. Refreshingly for a paranormal romance, the two protect and fight for each other with equal strength and zeal. Rosa and her enemies leave a trail of corpses, some explicitly gruesome, all the way to the cinematic conclusion at a long-drowned village.

Snappy dialogue and well-paced excitement bring this adventure to its ambiguous but nevertheless satisfying conclusion . (Paranormal romance. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-200610-3

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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A slasher flick spliced with Crime and Punishment, this engrossing debut novel asks complex philosophical questions in a...

NOT EVEN BONES

From the Market of Monsters series , Vol. 1

An adolescent, yet Nietzschean, examination of humanity and horror.

Nita is a monster. Literally. She can heal her own wounds and even block her pain receptors. But she and her mother also deal in monsters, species regulated by the International Non-Human Police, selling their body parts on the black market. Her ghoulish mother hunts and kills, while Nita dissects them with a meditative grace, trying to think of herself as innocent. But when Nita’s conscience inconveniently prevents her from vivisecting a live specimen, she’s kidnapped and taken to the Amazon, caged by people in the same business. Menaced by a zannie (creatures that feed off physical pain) and a ruthless woman, Nita, who is mixed species (with a brown-skinned human father and a nonhuman mother), has to figure out how to escape and whether she has any morals to live by. The vivid setting, Mercado de la Muerte (one of several Death Markets worldwide) in a sweltering South American jungle populated by buyers, sellers, and sold, is matched by a zipping plot interspersed with deliciously horrifying and gory scenes of dismemberment and destruction. Equally intriguing is the constant musing on what makes a monster, how people respond to trauma and control, and how one’s choices affirm or deny one’s own humanity.

A slasher flick spliced with Crime and Punishment, this engrossing debut novel asks complex philosophical questions in a pleasingly hard-to-stomach way. (Fantasy. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-86354-6

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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An atmospheric and creepy page-turner.

I KILLED ZOE SPANOS

Seventeen-year-old Anna Cicconi finds herself in the middle of a mystery when she takes a summer nanny job in the swanky Hamptons enclave of Herron Hills.

Frick begins her story at the end. Well, sort of. August in the Hamptons signals the turning of the leaves and sees the grisly discovery of 19-year-old Zoe Spanos’ body. Zoe disappeared on New Year’s Eve, and Anna, who happens to strongly resemble her, has confessed to her murder. However, Martina Green, who runs the podcast Missing Zoe, doesn’t believe Anna did it and attempts to find out what really happened. Flash back to June: Hard-partying recent high school grad Anna sees her new job caring for Tom and Emilia Bellamy’s 8-year-old daughter as a fresh start. As one sun-drenched day melts into the next, Anna is drawn to Windemere, the neighboring Talbots’ looming, Gothic-style home, and to the brooding, mysterious Caden Talbot. But Anna can’t shake a feeling of déjà vu, and she’s having impossible memories that intertwine her life with Zoe’s. Frick easily juggles multiple narratives, and readers will enjoy connecting the dots of her cleverly plotted thriller inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s classic Rebecca. Anna and Zoe are white; the supporting cast includes biracial characters Martina (Latinx/white) and Caden (black/white). Caden discusses grappling with being raised by white adoptive parents, facing racialized suspicion as Zoe’s boyfriend, and feeling marginalized at Yale.

An atmospheric and creepy page-turner. (map) (Thriller. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4970-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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