Even those who loved the first book might find too little logic in this conclusion

THE PACK

A group of shape-shifting runaways from the circus, on the run from genocidal hunters, tries to find a home.

Flo, her boyfriend, Jett, and the other shifters just want to find a strong pack to join. The teenagers (all either white or with no identified race) can all shift into an animal form: bears or tigers, parrots or rats, elephants or horses. The frightened escapees, who’ve lost many of their loved ones to hunters, have been seeking some safe place in the woods. The members of this huge cast (with too many names and animal forms to keep track of) have a wide array of agendas. Should they join the wild pack? The wolf pack? Should they even stay together? After brief dramas, many of these newly introduced characters vanish, never to be heard from again. Finally, Flo and the shifters are captured by hunters, who are in league with the lion who used to run their circus, who’d been betraying them for years and who now seeks to strike a bargain. Further dramatic revelations and betrayals await, of course. There’s no attempt to summarize the events of The Wanderers (2015), and with so many characters, side quests, and double crosses, it’s often difficult to keep track.

Even those who loved the first book might find too little logic in this conclusion . (Fantasy. 13-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5107-1218-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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Seventeen-year-old Will is a local in Walfang; Gretchen is "summer people," but she's Will's best friend anyway. They used...

SIREN'S STORM

A dreamy, hair-raising mystery in a Long Island fishing village–cum–upscale resort evokes the traditional horrors of coastal communities.

Seventeen-year-old Will is a local in Walfang; Gretchen is "summer people," but she's Will's best friend anyway. They used to be three musketeers, along with Will's brother Tim, until a year ago when Tim died in a boating accident that should have killed both boys. Now Will and Gretchen try to renew their friendship in one of the creepiest summers either can remember. Will is drawn to Asia, a beautiful stranger with "green sea glass eyes." Gretchen worries about the local mad teenager who babbles portents about “seekriegers” and sings sea shanties. A 400-year-old gold doubloon turns up in a donation box, and an antique bone recorder—the spitting image of one found on Tim's body—appears in the local antique shop. Most frightening of all, Gretchen's sleepwalking, always worrying, has gotten downright dangerous. The more Will investigates, the more he sees connections with generations-old local mysteries—and possibly, incomprehensibly, stories far older than that. Walfang is exquisitely realized (occasionally too much so; narrative flow sometimes takes a backseat to painting Walfang with not-always-necessary detail); characters are defined as much by their place in society as by their behavior.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-375-84245-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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NO PLACE

Dan is middle-class and college-bound, but that won’t keep the global recession from taking his home.

Dan—with a stockbroker mother and a city-employee father, headed to Rice on a baseball scholarship—was once a solid member of the middle class. But when his parents lose their jobs, the family winds up in Dignityville, a tent city for the town’s homeless. Homelessness, he learns, isn’t merely the absence of a roof and four walls: It’s hunger, insecure storage, shame, exhaustion, physical vulnerability, and disconnection from phone service and Wi-Fi. Even geography becomes Dan’s enemy, as he discovers Dignityville is outside his school district, and his after-school job is too far away to reach. Highly politicized infodumps about America’s growing wealth disparity, while unsubtle, are smoothly integrated through the voices of minor characters with messages to impart. There’s an Occupy-style activist with informative posters, a young black man sneering at the surprise of middle-class white people at being “shoved down to the bottom where they never thought they’d be,” even Dan’s own Web searches for a school research project springing from his experiences. For similar themes with less of a problem-novel vibe, try Sarah Dooley’s lovely Body of Water (2011); nonetheless, Dan’s experience with middle-class poverty is accessible and timely. (Fiction. 13-15)

 

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-5721-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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