Readers won’t be able to put down this dark and riveting tale of power and revenge.

VENGEFUL

Victor Vale has died twice—and it’s not getting any easier.

Five years ago, after the bloody battle that ended with Victor dead and his former friend Eli imprisoned, Sydney Clarke used her power to bring Victor back. But for ExtraOrdinary people like Victor, Sydney’s resurrection power comes at a price. Now Victor is racing against time to figure out how to repair the damage death has done to him—and struggling to hold his weird little makeshift family—made up of an ex-con, a former soldier, and a girl who can raise the dead—together even though he’s falling apart. Meanwhile, a new EO is rising in the town of Merit. Marcella Riggins isn’t the type to take murder lying down, and she’s come back from death with only one thought in her mind: ruin. She’ll start with her husband, who killed her when she confronted him over his infidelity, but she won’t stop there. Five years may have passed since the events of Vicious (2013), the first book in Schwab’s (A Conjuring of Light, 2017, etc.) Villains series, but her superpowered characters haven’t exactly used that time to relax. The tension in this sequel starts high and keeps ratcheting higher, as Victor’s grip on his power starts slipping and the body count starts rising. Victor and his friends and enemies are a fascinating group of complicated characters, and the utterly ruthless Marcella is a great addition to the mix.

Readers won’t be able to put down this dark and riveting tale of power and revenge.

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7653-8752-3

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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With its bug-eyed monsters, one might think Dune was written thirty years ago; it has a fantastically complex schemata and...

DUNE

This future space fantasy might start an underground craze.

It feeds on the shades of Edgar Rice Burroughs (the Martian series), Aeschylus, Christ and J.R. Tolkien. The novel has a closed system of internal cross-references, and features a glossary, maps and appendices dealing with future religions and ecology. Dune itself is a desert planet where a certain spice liquor is mined in the sands; the spice is a supremely addictive narcotic and control of its distribution means control of the universe. This at a future time when the human race has reached a point of intellectual stagnation. What is needed is a Messiah. That's our hero, called variously Paul, then Muad'Dib (the One Who Points the Way), then Kwisatz Haderach (the space-time Messiah). Paul, who is a member of the House of Atreides (!), suddenly blooms in his middle teens with an ability to read the future and the reader too will be fascinated with the outcome of this projection.

With its bug-eyed monsters, one might think Dune was written thirty years ago; it has a fantastically complex schemata and it should interest advanced sci-fi devotees.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1965

ISBN: 0441013597

Page Count: 411

Publisher: Chilton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1965

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A charming and persuasive entry that will leave readers impatiently awaiting the concluding volume.

A BLIGHT OF BLACKWINGS

Book 2 of Hearne's latest fantasy trilogy, The Seven Kennings (A Plague of Giants, 2017), set in a multiracial world thrust into turmoil by an invasion of peculiar giants.

In this world, most races have their own particular magical endowment, or “kenning,” though there are downsides to trying to gain the magic (an excellent chance of being killed instead) and using it (rapid aging and death). Most recently discovered is the sixth kenning, whose beneficiaries can talk to and command animals. The story canters along, although with multiple first-person narrators, it's confusing at times. Some characters are familiar, others are new, most of them with their own problems to solve, all somehow caught up in the grand design. To escape her overbearing father and the unreasoning violence his kind represents, fire-giant Olet Kanek leads her followers into the far north, hoping to found a new city where the races and kennings can peacefully coexist. Joining Olet are young Abhinava Khose, discoverer of the sixth kenning, and, later, Koesha Gansu (kenning: air), captain of an all-female crew shipwrecked by deep-sea monsters. Elsewhere, Hanima, who commands hive insects, struggles to free her city from the iron grip of wealthy, callous merchant monarchists. Other threads focus on the Bone Giants, relentless invaders seeking the still-unknown seventh kenning, whose confidence that this can defeat the other six is deeply disturbing. Under Hearne's light touch, these elements mesh perfectly, presenting an inventive, eye-filling panorama; satisfying (and, where appropriate, well-resolved) plotlines; and tensions between the races and their kennings to supply much of the drama.

A charming and persuasive entry that will leave readers impatiently awaiting the concluding volume.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-345-54857-3

Page Count: 592

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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