cultures beyond Great Britain (most notably
China and the First Nations). Within this
world, characters soar: Helena and Margaret’s budding romance is sweet, and the trio’s
struggles with their respective futures sincere.
Compelling and unique—there’s nothing else
like it. —Maggie Reagan
There’s Someone inside Your House.
By Stephanie Perkins.
Sept. 2017. 352p. Dutton, $17.99 (9780525426011).
The ever-popular Perkins (Isla and the Happily Ever After, 2014) takes a sharp turn out of
YA romance in her latest offering, a clever—
and, to fans, no doubt surprising—foray into
the teen slasher genre. When Makani Young
moved from her native Hawaii to her grandmother’s house in Nebraska, she thought her
biggest concerns would be fitting in, putting
her troubled past behind her, and navigating
her attraction to a mysterious boy. She didn’t
expect the students at Osborne High to start
dying as murder after seemingly unconnected
murder shocks the small town. And Makani
certainly never expected herself to be targeted
by the killer. Perkins deftly builds the suspense like a pro: an uneasy opening leads to
some legitimately horrifying murders, and the
identity of the killer isn’t quite as important
as the motivation. Diverse characters, including a transgender boy, are folded into the tale.
This is the same reliable formula that spawned
the Scream franchise, and Perkins wields it to
great effect: readers will be sleeping with one
eye open. —Maggie Reagan
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This is a new
direction for Perkins, but even fans wary of horror should be sucked in to this addictive read.
Tool of War.
By Paolo Bacigalupi.
Oct. 2017. 336p. Little, Brown, $17.99
(9780316220835); e-book, $9.99 (9780316220828).
Five years after The Drowned Cities (2012),
Bacigalupi returns to his award-winning Ship
Breaker series. This opens with a rare moment
of peace in the Drowned Cities. Moments
later, Havoc missiles rain down death on Tool
and his young army, turning humans and
city into ash. The Mercier Corporation and
General Carora have finally located the DNA-enhanced Tool and are desperate to annihilate
their renegade augment. The action is nonstop
as Tool is marched through a series of brutal
battles, meeting main characters from the earlier books along the way. The number of plot
conveniences and narrow escapes is almost as
high as the body count as Tool seeks revenge on
his corporate makers. The central issue of Tool’s
humanity is burdened by plot contradictions
that overwhelm character development, and
the searing passion of the earlier books seems
missing. Still, Bacigalupi’s action scenes are
brilliantly cinematic, powering the pacing with
breathtaking superhero stunts. Tool, as ever, is
a character impossible to forget, and all loose
ends are tied up in an epilogue. —Lynn Rutan
When I Cast Your Shadow.
By Sarah Porter.
Sept. 2017. 384p. Tor Teen, $17.99 (9780765380562).
When he was alive, Dashiell Bohnacker’s
sly charm, gall, and penchant for reckless
abandon were so dangerous that his own fa-
ther wished he’d never been born. It’s been
just two months since Dash’s lethal heroin
overdose, and his old habits are already stir-
ring up trouble in the Land of the Dead.
After betraying the Land’s almost hundred-
year-old evil overlord, Aloysius, what’s left of
Dash (the dead don’t retain human forms)
is on the run. For now, he’s found safety by
possessing the body of his ever-adoring sister,
Ruby. But Everett, Ruby’s twin, is catch-
ing on. So too are Aloysius
and his fiending horde of
dejected specters. While
chapters shift between
various first-person per-
spectives, including those
of Ruby, Everett, Dashiell,
and Aloysius, each of Por-
ter’s (Vassa in the Night,
2016) characters remains dynamic, distinct,
and vividly realized. In fact, in Porter’s hands,
even undead, skinless slivers of shadow (
particularly one named Mabel) burst to life. The
★ “Irresistible, slick, and sharp
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