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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

The Cloud Roads

Today we review a terrific new novel from a fantasy writer that teens should be made aware of. Karyn’s review does a good job of encapsulating her work, so I will leave you in good hands.

But first, do you know teens who love to write fantasy or science fiction? There are still spots available in this summer’s Shared Worlds Teen SF/Fantasy Writing Camp. From the website — Guest instructors will include Carl Brandon Parallax Award winner and YA novelist Nnedi Okorafor (author of Who Fears Death), World Fantasy Award winner Jeff VanderMeer, Hugo Award winning editor Ann VanderMeer, Philip K. Dick Award finalist Minister Faust, World Fantasy Award winner Ekaterina Sedia, and trend-setting game designer Will Hindmarch.

WELLS, Martha. The Cloud Roads. 288p. Night Shade. 2011. pap. $14.99. ISBN 978-1-59780-216-1. LC number unavailable.  Cloud Roads

Adult/High School–Critically acclaimed Wells is less-well-known than she should be, especially among teen audiences. Her work tends to center on coming of age, and if the ages of her characters are sometimes older than adolescents, the concerns aren’t. Moon has been a loner and frequently an outcast for most of his life. The Three Worlds are full of people of all stripes: scaled, feathered, brown, blue. But even so, Moon is unusual because he can shift from “groundling” to a winged form that looks worryingly like the Fell, the sentient predators who ravage their way across the worlds. When Moon is finally found by his own kind, the Raksura, he must learn who he is when he’s not hiding. The complex world-building (the many inhuman races, the politics, and the geography are fresh and wrought with skill) doesn’t detract from intrigue and adventure: can the Raksura escape the Fell, and can Moon survive the animosity of one queen and the love of another? Likable Moon sometimes remains unknowable; his past is parceled out according to plot imperative, and thus artificially withheld from readers. But this is still a rousing tale of a lost boy who finds his way home and discovers that he has a role to play in saving the world. High-octane fight scenes nicely contrast with Moon’s emotional growth and developing romance. Genre fans looking for something different will find this just what they needed.–Karyn N. Silverman, LREI (Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School), New York City

Angela Carstensen About Angela Carstensen

Angela Carstensen is Head Librarian and an Upper School Librarian at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Angela served on the Alex Awards committee for four years, chairing the 2008 committee, and chaired the first YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult committee in 2009. Recently, she edited Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation (ALA Editions, 2011). Contact her via Twitter @AngeReads.


  1. […] – “Genre fans looking for something different will find this just what they needed.” […]

  2. […] The School Library Journal blog reviews The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells – “Genre fans looking for something different will find this just what they needed.” […]