Not to disparage the first books in these series, but the childhood adage “first is the worst, second is the best …” is frequently correct. You still can’t skip the first book, though! So, I’ve given you six titles to add to your to-read pile. 

Marissa Meyer, NY Times bestselling author of the “Lunar Chronicles” released her first graphic novel “Wires and Nerves,” in January 2017. Set in the same world after the events of the last book, “Winter,” but before the epilogue “Stars Above,” it is a continuation of the series. The series is led by Iko, everyone’s favorite Android from the “Lunar Chronicles,” with appearances by Cinder and some of your other favorite characters. In “Gone Rogue,” a pack of wolf-hybrid soldiers is threatening the peace alliance between Earth and Luna, so Iko has been tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele, their leader. If you enjoyed the “Lunar Chronicles,” then this visually stunning and fast-paced two-book series is just for you!

Mackenzi Lee’s “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue,” was a swashbuckling romp through 18th century Europe, starring Monty with his friend Percy, and his sister Felicity, as they evade highwaymen and pirates, and take one last trip before Monty has to be a grown-up. Now, in “The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy,” it’s Felicity’s turn in the spotlight. It’s one year after their trip and she has her mind set on two things, avoiding a proposal from a persistent suitor, and enrolling in medical school to become a doctor. She knows she’s smarter than everyone thinks, so will she be able to shed the petticoat and don a lab coat? Find out!

In “Scythe,” Neal Shusterman has created a conflict-free world, one without disease, war or misery. They’ve even conquered death. Citra and Rowan are two teens chosen to be “Scythes,” the only people who are able to take a life and only for the purpose of population control. Taking lives comes with big responsibilities, and if they fail they will lose their own. In the sequel “Thunderhead,” Rowan goes rogue and is aiming to rid the world of corrupt Scythes. Citra, now a junior Scythe, also notices corruption and wants to help create change from the inside out. Even if that means risking her life. Shusterman’s first installment is a near perfect YA book, and the second installment doesn’t fail to deliver the same intrigue, originality, world building and nongraphic gore that Scythe contained. Plus, it has an ending that will leave you with your jaw on the ground. Shusterman consistently works in the realms of morality and conscience, and this series is no different.

Off the Shelves is published Sundays. Each week a different Kenosha Public Library or Community Library staff member organizes reviews of a handful of books available through the library system.

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