February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Adventures with Young Sherlock Holmes, Dystopic Japan, and Zombies Galore | Fiction Series Update

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Trilogy Update

Grant, Michael. BZRK Apocalypse. 400p. (BZRK: Bk. 3). Egmont USA. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781606844083.

Gr 10 Up–Fans left breathless at the end of BZRK Reloaded (Egmont USA, 2013) will be thrilled to dive into this high-octane conclusion that picks up exactly where book two left off. The Armstrong Twins are set on revenge and Sadie (“Plath”) winds up as head of BZRK in the aftermath of Vincent’s mental breakdown. New characters are introduced, the action is relentless, and the stakes are high. Readers new to the series will be hopelessly lost; the books must be read in order. Those who’ve enjoyed the first two will find a satisfying end.

Kristoff, Jay. Endsinger. 432p. (The Lotus War: Bk. 3). St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne. 2014. Tr $25.99. ISBN 9781250001429.

Gr 9 Up–The epic conclusion to the high-octane steampunk series set in dystopian Japan will keep readers guessing until the last reveal. Kick-butt heroine Yukiko, still reeling from Kin’s betrayal in the previous volume, partners with Buruu to lead the rebellion against the evil Lotus Guild. The pair must battle new and old foes to finally save theirbeloved Shima Imperium. For avid fans of the trilogy.

Lamb, Victoria. Witchrise. 320p. (The Tudor Witch Trilogy: Bk. 3). Harlequin Teen. 2014. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780373211029.

Gr 8 Up–Tudor witch Meg Lytton is back in this lush, fast-paced paranormal romance set against the backdrop of the 16th-century English court. With her mother’s magical wand and and ring, the teen might finally be able to escape the clutches of the evil witchunter Marcus Dentim. However, in this spellbinding conclusion, Meg undergoes the ultimate betrayal at the hands of her love Alejandro, the Spanish novice. Fans of Reign and royal court dramas will devour this final volume in an unforgettable series.

Mitchell, J. Barton. Valley of Fires. 416p. (Conquered Earth: Bk. 3). St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250009487.

Gr 9 Up–In this postapocalyptic sci-fi series, alien invaders have taken over Earth, using mind control to conquer the will of all adults. With only teenagers left to save the day, this thrilling conclusion sees protagonists Holt, Mira, and Zoey taking part on separate journeys in the hopes of finally fighting off their invaders. Though not quite as heavy on action as some readers might like, this wrap-up is one that series fans won’t want to miss.

Showalter, Gena. The Queen of Zombie Hearts. 464p. (The White Rabbit Chronicles: Bk. 3). Harlequin Teen. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780373211319.

Gr 9 Up–The author’s unique twist, zombies meet Lewis Carroll, comes to a dramatic, if unevenly paced conclusion. Zombie slayer Alice Bell leads a group of killers of the undead against the corporation that is controlling the creatures. This action-packed, makeout-heavy volume is high on wry humor and overwrought romance. However, fans of the series will happily cheer on the strong female protagonist and enjoy the tidy ending.

Series Continuations

Carter, Aimée. Captive. 304p. (The Blackcoat Rebellion: Bk. 2). Harlequin Teen. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780373211289.

Gr 10 Up–Kitty, whose low-caste status prevented her from bettering herself socially or financially, was given a way out of her life of prostitution when she agreed to be surgically transformed into the deceased niece of evil Prime Minister Daxston Hart. But with exciting new opportunities came grave dangers. In this next installment, Kitty is further entrenched in the lies that dictate her new life and she winds up accused of treason. The scenes at Elsewhere, an inescapable prison, are intense and unflinching. The plot twists and turns, with red herrings and a dynamic pace that will keep readers guessing. With even more political maneuvering, suspense, and romance, fans of the first book will not be disappointed.

Dorset, Skylar. The Boy with the Hidden Name. 320p. (Otherworld Chronicles: Bk. 2). Sourcebooks Fire. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781402292569.

Gr 9 Up–Fans of all thing fae are in for a treat with this follow-up to The Girl Who Never Was, (Sourcebooks Fire, 2014) which SLJ called an “action-packed story…rich in snappy dialogue.” The first installment of this series saw Selkie Stewart discovering that her mother is a faerie queen, hell-bent on killing her own daughter. In this rich and vivid sequel, Selkie must put an end to the machinations of her own mother and the Seelie Court—or risk dying.

Lane, Andrew. Snake Bite. 304p. (Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins: Bk. 5). Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374370909. LC 2013041361.

Gr 6-9–This latest in Lane’s series about teenage Sherlock Holmes (the only one to be authorized by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) picks up where Fire Storm (Farrar, 2013) ended, with Sherlock kidnapped and set on a ship to China. The teen must solve a mystery involving unexplained snake bites in Shanghai and uncover a plot to destroy an American warship, which could have dire international consequences. Another gripping installment in the series SLJ previously called “satisfying and engrossing.”

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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