Ru Xu

Book - 2019

Blue arrives in the capital city of Altalus, where she is determined to find her friend Crow, the boy who was created to be a flying war machine, and Jack, the engineer who built him. But soon she is inadvertently kidnapped by Snow and Red, twins from the enemy side of their ten-year war. They set off on a dangerous adventure that brings them to the front lines of the war, and eventually realize that they must work together to help end it. But with larger, more powerful forces at work, the fight for peace -- and survival -- will be more difficult than they ever imagined.

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Children's Room jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Xu Checked In
Graphic novels
Steampunk comics
Action and adventure fiction
New York, NY : Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic 2019.
Main Author
Ru Xu (author)
First edition
Item Description
Chiefly illustrations.
"Sequel to NewsPrints"--Cover.
Physical Description
205 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Picking up from her previous adventure, NewsPrints (2017), scrappy newsgirl heroine Blue travels to a country on the brink of war to rescue her friend Crow, a boy used against his will to power a terrifying weapon. Those new to the series will probably get lost, as there is no recap and the context clues are scant at times, but readers who loved Xu's series opener will definitely be right at home, as the stakes are raised even higher, and the already impressive world is fleshed out in even more detail. Xu has taken the best trappings of manga, from tragic backstories to emotional monologues, and turned them into a high-interest, kid-friendly package. Her artwork is just as spot-on, complete with epic battles, over-the-top facial expressions, and stylish figure designs. The warm color palette greatly adds to the mood, as well, creating a look that highlights the 1920s-inspired designs and truly makes the characters pop to life. Budding manga fans will appreciate this action-rich series set in a compelling world.--Peter Blenski Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Fans of Xu's Newsprints will be delighted to see the characters back for this sequel. The countries of Goswing and Grimmaea are still at war, and Blue is trying to rescue her friend Crow, the war machine. She learns that he is being used to command a new generation of war machines, but she is captured by twins from the other side of the war before she can save him. Other favorite characters appear alongside newcomers, including twin kings and a blind teenage queen. This book delves deeply into the theme of gender as Blue discusses her choice to wear "boys' clothes," even though she no longer hides her identity, with a newly introduced transgender character. Another key issue is the cost and reasons for war, which are argued effectively by both sides but ultimately lead to a peace settlement. The full-color art is reminiscent of manga and feels almost retro, an effective mash-up for this steampunk-esque story. As in the first entry, the cast is engaging and the adventures are fast-paced (kidnapping, air battles, ground battles on live volcanoes, and more), though this title adds more depth to the world and characters. VERDICT Exceeding the promise of the earlier installment, this is a can't-miss offering.-Elizabeth Nicolai, Anchorage Public Library, AK © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Rounding off a tale begun in NewsPrints (2017), budding journalist Blue continues to search for her robotic friend, Crow, as the long war between Goswing and Grimmaea comes to a head.Just 17 and blind, but determined not to appear weak, Corazana Lina, newly crowned queen of Goswing, lays a fresh claim to mines needed to fuel her rapidly growing fleet of flying warships. But as Grimmaea is building an air force of its own and the mines' range is also home to a cluster of active volcanoes, widespread disaster loomsand, ultimately, strikes. Meanwhile Blue, caught between opposing armies and monarchs, weathers a rapid succession of dramatic encounters and narrow squeaks as she brings her quest to a successful conclusion at last. Exaggerated facial expressions occasionally give the figures in Xu's bordered panels an artificially stylized, manga-esque look, but the action is easy to follow, and sharply rendered background details add depth and detail to the steampunk-ish setting. The author weaves a strong anti-war message through her tale, casting righteous shade on the evil, which both sides here practice, of recruiting children for military service and playing up the importance of an independent press. Though a bit unwieldy, her populous cast features several characters with mixed ancestry (including Blue), a trans character, and one that is constructed but human in all the ways that count. An action-oriented closer, conventionally tidy at the end but distinctive for its richly imagined world. (Graphic science fiction. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.