Colleen Mondor Reviews Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Race to the Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Disney Hyperion 978-136802466-2, $16.99, 298pp, hc) January 2020. Cover by Dale Ray DeForest.

Rick Riordan’s already impressive Disney Hyperion imprint has another winner with Rebecca Roanhorse’s adventure, Race to the Sun. Sporting a southwestern setting and Navajo protagonist while executing a traditional hero/heroine’s journey with aplomb, Race to the Sun hits all the right notes while giving readers an excellent ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea, TJ Klune (Tor 978-1-250-21728-8, $26.99, 352pp, hc) March 2020.

I am sitting at the dining room table, writing this review on April 19th. In my corner of the world, north of Seattle, we have been thinking about the coronavirus longer than almost anyone else in America. Governor Jay Inslee issued a stay-at-home order on March 23, almost two months after the nation’s first ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

All the Stars and Teeth, Adalyn Grace (Imprint 978-1-250-30778-1, $17.99, 384pp, hc) February 2020.

Adalyn Grace opens All the Stars and Teeth on a day of great importance for her protagonist, Princess Amora Montara. The princess is about to participate in her ‘‘performance,’’ the event during which she will prove herself worthy of the crown of Visidia. As Amora goes about her day in the early chapters, readers learn ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Oasis by Katya de Becerra

Oasis, Katya De Becerra (Imprint 978-1-250- 12426-5, $17.99, 302pp, hc) January 2020.

Oasis begins as a traditional set-up for a teen drama involving a small group of somewhat wealthy kids off on a summer adventure/vacation. Alif and her four friends are flying from Australia to Dubai, where they will join her father’s desert archeological dig as student interns. It is, Alif is certain, the summer where she will ‘‘rediscover’’ ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey

When We Were Magic, Sarah Gailey (Simon Pulse 978-1-5344-3287-1, $18.99, 352pp, hc) March 2020.

Sarah Gailey’s When We Were Magic opens with a murder. (This is no spoiler, because the first sentence of the book is, “I didn’t mean to kill Josh Harper.”) Everything that follows is the result of that murder: all the action, all the drama, all the angst. If Josh Harper hadn’t died (in a very ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Rebelwing by Andrea Tang

Rebelwing, Andrea Tang (Razorbill 978-1-9848-3509-3, $17.99, 368pp, hc) February 2020.

Andrea Tang’s dystopian prep school/cybernetic dragon/political conspiracy novel Rebelwing has a ton of action, some intriguing world-building and more than a few complicated relationships to unpack. It scores well on some fronts and struggles a bit on others, but certainly packs a lot of thrills for readers and provides a science fiction diversion that reads as all too possible ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Shadowshaper Legacy by Daniel José Older

Shadowshaper Legacy, Daniel José Older (Scholastic 978-1-338-61487-9, $18.99, 432pp, hc) January 2020.

Daniel José Older brings his ambitious, intense and thoroughly satisfying Shadowshaper Cypher series to an end with the very nearly overwhelming action of Shadowshaper Legacy. Sierra and her friends must confront one more big bad in their efforts to bring peace and security to Brooklyn and finally obtain safe control of the Deck of Worlds. A ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

Infinity Son, Adam Silvera (Harper Teen 978-0-06-245782-0, $18.99, 353pp, hc) January 2020.

Adam Silvera takes an emotional look at fraught sibling relationships in the fantasy adventure Infinity Son. Fraternal twin brothers Emil and Brighton live in a New York that is home to magical humans called Spell Walkers who protect the city from the devious specters. While the Spell Walkers are born with their pow­ers, the specters cruelly ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

Sensational, Jodie Lynn Zdrok (Tor Teen 978-0-7653-9971-7, $17.99, 336pp, hc) February 2020.

Jodie Lynn Zdrok concludes the adventures of late-19th-century teen reporter Nathalie Baudin with her second book, Sensational. As readers of the first book, Spectacle, will recall, Nathalie has a powerful ability to see the last moments of a murder (courtesy a bit of mad scientist intervention involving her parents before she was born). She has ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

The Gravity of Us, Phil Stamper (Bloomsbury 978-1547600144, $17.99, 307pp, hc) February 2020.

Set just slightly in the future, as the US trains astronauts for a mission to Mars, The Gravity of Us is a smart, heartwarming, and thoroughly relevant novel about teens swept up in the clashing ambitions of those around them. It brims with joy and drama, with a dose of treachery tossed in to keep the ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews A Phoenix First Must Burn, Edited by Patrice Caldwell

A Phoenix First Must Burn, Patrice Caldwell, ed. (Viking 978-1-9848-3565-9, $18.99, 306pp, hc) March 2020.

In the new teen anthology A Phoenix First Must Burn, editor Patrice Caldwell has collected a group of 16 stories celebrating “Black girl magic.” The authors include several YA heavy hitters such as L.L. McKinney, Dhonielle Clayton, Justina Ireland, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Rebecca Roan­horse, and the topics range from an interstellar confrontation about ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold

Red Hood, Elana K. Arnold (Balzer & Bray 978-0-06-274235-3, $17.99, 368pp, hc) February 2020.

I rarely ever write this, but in this case, I simply had no choice. With Red Hood, author Elana K. Arnold has accomplished something so important and powerful that I strongly believe everyone should read this book. Girls should read it (for sure, girls should read it!), boys should read it, adults and teens ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

Come Tumbling Down, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing 978-0-7653-9931-1, $19.99, 208pp, hc) January 2020.

Seanan McGuire continues her beautifully dark Wayward Children series with this fifth installment, Come Tumbling Down. Picking up story threads from Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones, McGuire brings the saga of Jack and Jill to a final, gut-wrenching end, while also adding another evocative chapter to the ongoing ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Summerwood/Winterwood by E.L. Chen

Summerwood/Winterwood, E.L. Chen (ChiTeen 978-1771485029, $14.99, 416pp, hc) October 2019.

In the Summerwood/Winterwood duology, author E.L. Chen riffs on the “other world behind the hidden door” genre with a tale that draws deeply from Narnia while also focusing on the real-world stories that make such fantastical places famous. Young Rosalind Hero Cheung is almost 13 and yearning for adventure in Summerwood and a world weary sufferer of PTSD in ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Thief Knot by Kate Milford and Reverie by Ryan La Sala

The Thief Knot, Kate Milford (Clarion 978-1-328-46689-1, $17.99, 464pp, hc) January 2020.

Attention all mystery fans! Kate Milford is back with another conundrum set in her Greenglass House world that brings together all the elements fans of the genre could want. Set in the fantastical city of Nagspeake (New England-adjacent but not part of the US) and featuring a group of five smart teens that includes a ghost, a ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

The Queen of Nothing, Holly Black (Little, Brown 978-0-316-31042-0, $19.99, 300pp, hc). November 2019.

Holly Black brings her Folk of Air trilogy to a glorious conclusion with the intense, dramatic, and thoroughly satisfying The Queen of Nothing. If she was not already firmly acknowledged as one of the most impressive names in contemporary fantasy, then this title will surely put to rest any doubts. The tightly written plot, ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

I Hope You Get This Message, Farah Naz Rishi (Harper Teen 978-0-06-274145-5, $17.99, 420pp, hc) October 2019.

It’s possibly the end of the world, according to the aliens threatening everyone on Earth, and three teens are grappling with what they want to get done in the seven days they have left. Cate wants to find the fa­ther she never knew, Adeem wants to find his beloved older sister, and ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt

The Nightjar, Deborah Hewitt (Tor 978-1-250-23982-2, $18.99, 480pp, hc) September 2019.

Deborah Hewitt’s debut, The Nightjar, intro­duces readers to an alternate London with a lot of dark promise. After a brief but brutal prologue, readers are introduced to the novel’s protagonist, Alice Wyndham, who is on the way to her deadly dull office job. Alice’s morning has been shaken up with an unexpected package delivery and then the ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

The Merciful Crow, Margaret Owen (Henry Holt 978-1-250-19192-2, $18.99, 369pp, hc) July 2019.

In The Merciful Crow, the first book of her new series, Margaret Owen introduces a world that is both familiar (distracted king ignoring his duties, ambitious second queen who wants her young son to rule, crown prince who is the target of his murderous stepmother, faithful best friend determined to save prince, many many ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

The Night Tiger, Yangsze Choo (Flatiron Books 978-1-250-17545-8, $26.99, 384pp, hc) February 2019.

Author Yangsze Choo takes readers on an immersive ride into the past with her entertaining mystery-fantasy ad­venture, The Night Tiger. Set in 1931 Malaya, the novel combines one young boy’s quest to fulfill the deathbed wish of a revered elder with a young woman’s attempt to return a souvenir dismembered finger to the lecherous creep ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney

A Dream So Dark, L.L. McKinney (Imprint 978-1-250-15392-0, $18.99, 416pp, hc) Sep­tember 2019.

L.L. McKinney picks up the action right where she left off with her new “all hands on deck” sequel to A Blade So Black, A Dream So Dark. After losing one of her closest friends and discovering a major se­cret about her mentor in the closing pages of A Blade So Black, McKinney’s ...Read More

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2019 by Colleen Mondor

I read a lot of great young adult SF/F books in 2019 and was most struck by the diversity of subjects that came across my desk. There continues (thank­fully) to be no dominant theme in YA fantasy, a welcome departure from the past. With the excep­tion of a cluster of titles set in Paris (which is fine; what’s not to like about Paris?), it’s really impossible to point in any ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Minor Prophets by Jimmy Cajoleas

Minor Prophets, Jimmy Cajoleas (Amulet 978-1-4197-3904-0, $18.99, 368pp, hc) September 2019.

Minor Prophets by Jimmy Cajoleas is presented as a thriller with slight supernatural elements. In the opening pages, teen Lee recounts how he has long suffered from prophetic visions, many of which have come true. One of those visions strikes hard after his mother and stepfather have a loud fight and she roars off in her car, declaring, ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews All of Us With Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil

All of Us With Wings, Michelle Ruiz Keil (Soho Teen 978-1-64129-034-0, $18.99, 360pp, hc) June 2019.

All of Us with Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil is a love letter to San Francisco in the late 1980s that includes a combustible love affair, a forthright coming-of-age tale (for multiple characters), and a vengeance-fueled subplot that incorporates elements of magic realism. The plot is largely straightforward, but the emotional conflicts are ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Ghosts of the Shadow Market, Edited by Cassandra Clare

Ghosts of the Shadow Market, Cassandra Clare, ed. (McElderry Books 978-1-5344-3362-5, $24.99, 607pp, hc) June 2019.

Ghosts of the Shadow Market is a mammoth anthology of stories written to accompany Cassandra Clare’s immersive Shadow Market world. Clare has brought an impressive group of co-writers along with her – Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link, and Robin Wasser­man – and indulges all manner of fan obsessions and questions in ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All, Laura Ruby (Balzer & Bray 978-0-06-231764-3, $17.99, 384pp, hc) October 2019.

Stop whatever you are reading right now and get your hands on a copy of Laura Ruby’s Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All. If litera­ture exists to make us think, to broaden our minds, to make a difference, then there can be no better a book to read right now. That ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

The Tenth Girl, Sara Faring (Imprint 978-1-250-30450-6, $18.99, 464pp, hc) September 2019.

Sara Faring’s The Tenth Girl is a 1970s Gothic thriller filled with horrifying ghosts in an isolated Argentinian boarding school during the “Dirty War” when 30,000 civilians were disappeared at the hands of the US-backed military government. Eighteen-year old Mavi never knew her father, her rebel mother was recently arrested and hauled away with no hope of ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist

Missing, Presumed Dead, Emma Berquist (Greenwillow 978-0-06-264281-3, $17.99, 369pp, hc) May 2019.

In the opening pages of Emma Berquist’s sus­penseful mystery Missing, Presumed Dead, readers learn that there is a growing epidemic of young adults vanishing in Los Angeles. The most recent one works with Lexi at a nightclub named Elysium. Lexi is concerned about Marcus, but she has bigger things to worry about than what might have ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

House of Salt and Sorrows, Erin A. Craig (Delacorte 978-1-9848-3192-7, $18.99, 416pp, hc) August 2019.

Drawing from the classic fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”, Erin Craig’s House of Salt and Sorrows is a heavily at­mospheric novel set in a world that historically echoes our own and brings all the mystery, drama, and horror that readers could want. Sis­ters are dying, a strange and secretive passage to distant and ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron

Last Bus to Everland, Sophie Cameron (Mac­millan Children’s Books 978-1-509-85318-2, £9.99, 288pp, tp) May 2019. (Roaring Brook Press 978-1-250-14993-0, $17.99, 327pp, hc) June 2019.

After last year’s thoughtful Out of the Blue, author Sophie Cameron returns again to her native Scotland with Last Bus to Everland. In this “magical doorway” fantasy (that title was chosen for a reason), teenager Brody Fair finds the place he has al­ways ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

The Saturday Night Ghost Club, Craig Davidson (Knopf Canada 978-0-735-27482-2, C$27.00, 272pp, hc) August 2018. (Penguin 978-0-14-313393-3, $16.00, 206pp, tp) July 2019.

The Saturday Night Ghost Club is only the slightest wisp of a ghost story. It is far more a memory of childhood, a winsome look back by a narrator who now works in a dif­ficult profession (as a surgeon) and is remembering the most significant summer of ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Five Midnights, Ann Dávila Cardinal (Tor Teen 978-1-250-29607-8, $17.99, 288pp, hc) June 2019.

Welcome to the seedy side of Puerto Rico, where at an early age teens are roped into gangs and drug dealing, the economy is under perpetual attack by greedy US business interests, and a terrifying murderer is on the prowl. It looks like a couple of young men walking on the wrong side of the law ...Read More

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