Publishers Weekly: The universe appears to be literally shrinking around Ozzie Pinkerton: erasing people, obliterating the stars, and reducing the world to little more than his town of Cloud Lake, Fla. Ozzie alone remembers the world as it was […] As in We Are the Ants, Hutchinson uses a science fiction overlay to explore important topics, including self-mutilation, gender identity, and child abuse. Ozzie’s friends remind him that the world doesn’t revolve around him, but Hutchinson playfully disagrees, turning the literal shrinking of the universe into a smart metaphor for Ozzie’s introversion and alienation. Ozzie’s wit and concern for his friends make him a captivating narrator frozen by the changes and choices he faces. The conceit also works as a powerful parable for victimization, as everything Ozzie knows is stolen and the people he should be able to trust constantly undermine him—or disappear altogether.
Shelf Awareness: Any breakup can make a person feel like the world has just ended, but high school senior Ozzie Pinkerton of Florida feels even worse: as far as the universe is concerned, his ex-boyfriend Tommy never existed.
While Shaun David Hutchinson is a master of fusing the bizarre with the mundane, and the plot is delightfully constructed, it is Ozzie’s pained, sardonic voice that steals the spotlight. Hutchinson’s authentic characters, exploring their gender and sexuality with equal parts confusion and confidence, will resonate with many teens who no longer see their identity as binary or unchanging. Ozzie’s story may be fantastical, but its emotional honesty renders the whole complicated story believable, and readers will flock to its central truths.
Discover: Shaun David Hutchinson’s smart YA novel finds authenticity in the weirdest of places.
More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.
Ozzie doesn’t know how to navigate life without Tommy, and soon suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking.
When Ozzie is paired up with new student Calvin on a physics project, he begins to wonder if Calvin could somehow be involved. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is for him to deny the feelings developing between them, even if he still loves Tommy.
But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy–that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as possible.
Library Journal: Palmer’s sequel to Too Like the Lightning brings the next phase of Mycroft and Bridger’s journey in a sphere that is beginning to collapse. While the dense prose may be rough going for some readers, the eloquence of Palmer’s reflections on social issues cannot be denied.
The world is at peace; there has been no war for as long as anyone can remember. Automation is in play, the global Hives have replaced most nationalities, and gender and religious identities have not only dissipated but been forbidden. Yet the full depths of humanity cannot be subsumed completely. Something new has arisen, a power that can bring inanimate objects to life. A force that will be hidden, used, and fought over. The power of a child named Bridger.
Congratulations to the DMLA authors nominated for a 2017 RT Award!
School Library Journal: VERDICT A closing revelation may frustrate some, but this smartly written, profound look at the wells of human despair will stay with readers. Recommended for all YA collections where Hutchinson’s work circulates heavily.
Oswald “Ozzie” Pinkerton is facing a gauntlet of problems: his parents are divorcing; his older brother is skipping college to join the military, and Ozzie is afraid he’ll be killed; and Ozzie’s boyfriend since eighth grade, Tommy, has vanished. To make matters worse, everyone in the town of Cloud Lake seems to have erased Tommy from their memories, even Ozzie and Tommy’s best friends, gender-fluid punk rocker Lua and quiet valedictorian Dustin. Also, the universe is shrinking, and Ozzie appears to be the only person who realizes it. Ozzie has no idea how to function without Tommy, but when he’s paired with solitary Calvin for a physics project and Calvin mentions Tommy’s name, Ozzie begins to hope that Tommy is still out there. Hutchinson follows up We Are the Ants with a deep and introspective novel full of angst and suffering. Readers will feel Ozzie’s nearly radiant pain, but Universe isn’t singularly focused. All of the characters are neatly fleshed out and have their own personal anguish: Lua deals with being gender-fluid in a small town; Dustin, whose father loses the family fortune, has to confront a future where his dreams cannot be attained; and Ozzie’s trials serve as a lens through which readers can examine the scope of human experience in this (shrinking) universe.
Britain, 1801. King George’s episodic sanity is almost as damaging as his madness. First Consul Napoleon is gathering his forces in France. The disease of democracy is spreading. The world is poised on the brink of the modern era, but the rowankind, long a source of free labor, have shaken off their bonds.
Some have returned to laru to find freedom with the Fae; others are trying to find a place in the world, looking for fair treatment under the law. The course of the industrial revolution may change forever.
Wild magic is on the rise. Creatures of legend are returning to the world: kelpies, pixies, trolls, hobs, and goblins. Ross and Corwen, she a summoner witch and he a wolf shapechanger, have freed the rowankind from bondage, but now they are caught in the midst of the conflict, while trying their best to avoid the attention of the Mysterium, the government organization which would see them hanged for their magic.
When an urgent letter calls Corwen back to Yorkshire, he and Ross become embroiled in dark magic, family secrets, and industrial treachery. London beckons. There they discover a missing twin, an unexpected friend, and an old enemy—called Walsingham.