content by

Christina Tucker

YA Built on Duty and Power: Katy Rose Pool’s There Will Come a Darkness

Here is a recipe for a YA novel that I will never be able to resist: two cups of a mysterious event that took place many years ago, a half cup of a foreboding prophecy, two tablespoons of a seemingly random but connected cast of characters, and heaping teaspoon of magic. Katy Rose Pool’s debut There Will Come A Darkness takes this recipe and creates a beautifully detailed and absorbing read. As in many debut novels, there is room for some growth, particularly around pacing and plot. All in all, Darkness is a fun and enchanting read even for those of us who know that recipe by heart.

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Adventure and Ancient Relics: The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennet

Theodora Fox is the perfect treasure hunter—she’s read every book she can get her hands on, she loves cracking codes and crosswords, and her knowledge of ancient relics is outstanding. Or she would be, if her father and world-renowned treasure hunter Richard Fox, let her join him on any of his adventures. Instead, he relegates her to hotel rooms while taking his protégé—Theodora’s former best friend and boyfriend—Huck. The Lady Rogue finds the plucky protagonist in Istanbul after running off (another) tutor when Huck finds her and tells her that the cursed ring her father is hunting is more trouble than they knew, and they need to leave the city right away. The adventure is off from there, the two of them travelling via train, plane and automobile while trying to find Theo’s father, and track down the truth of the cursed ring that was rumored to belong to Vlad the Impaler. Not to mention, they must stay two steps ahead a of man with a terrifying wolf who seems to always know where they are.

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Birds of Prey’s Black Mask Highlights the Problem with Queer Villains

When the news broke that Warner Bros’ upcoming Birds of Prey film would feature a male villain who would have “palpable sexual tension” with another male villain, Victor Zsasz, eyebrows were raised—especially considering the rumors that his character arc will include the release of racy photographs. It is true that fans have been hoping to see a queer character in the DCEU, not to mention within the oeuvre of superhero media. But is this what fans are asking for? Another queer villain? Another queer male villain? Another queer male villain who is played by a straight actor? (This time, Ewan McGregor.) The fans sighed; the tweets flew fast and furious. It’s not that there can’t be queer people who are bad, we argued. But we are a sick of them only getting to be bad. Aren’t we?

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