Although an important book about exploitation, genocide, and identity—one inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology—Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye is difficult to read. Trapped in a world of monsters who will eat her alive should they realize she’s the enemy, Sloane Shade lives under Lucis rule and tyranny. Ten times more horrifying than the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, the ruling class and its military are pitting children against children, training them to kill or be killed. Bound by the Lucis law regarding conscription, when a child turns fifteen, he or she reports for training for a war against the Shadow Rebels. Such is the fate ofRead More →

To provide context and a back-story, Return to Fear Street by R.L. Stine begins in 1923 when phrases like “the bee’s knees” were popular, bobbed hair was vogue, the Yankees stadium opened in New York, and the stock market was booming. Two sisters—four years apart and as different from one another as possible—vie for attention and hope for happiness.  Rebecca, the favored daughter, is not only a princess in appearance but royalty in her father’s eyes, and Randolph Fear spares no expense when it comes to his eldest, more popular daughter. Propelled by both envy and resentment, Ruth-Ann Fear escapes into a little attic roomRead More →

The daughter of two scientists, Shade Darby is thirteen years old when the Dome appears and sits astride the 101 at Perdido Beach, California.   Shade’s mother, Dr. Heather Darby of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, is called in to explain the Dome, an anomalous, impenetrable, initially opaque, and terrifying enclosure that captured all children younger than fifteen and ejected all persons older.  Because curiosity runs deep in her genetic makeup, each day Shade—against her mother’s orders—watches the terror that is the FAYZ: Fallout Alley Youth Zone, where Gaia, a demented young goddess rules , maiming and murdering.  Unlike the original healing and life-giving character inRead More →

A story’s first line is often a good indicator of its merit, and Kieran Scott joins the ranks of other great story tellers with her opening line in What Waits in the Woods: “Callie Valasquez wasn’t ready to die” (3). When smart, creative, loyal Callie latches onto a life raft the second week at her new school, she has no idea that the decision may lead to her death, but her choice to befriend coarse, snarky, athletic Lissa and dainty, meek, sweet Penelope leads to a camping trip in the woods and the horror-filled adventure that follows. More secure navigating the concrete and pavement ofRead More →