Books by Annette Curtis Klause

FREAKS by Annette Curtis Klause
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2006

Abel finds his fortune with freaks in this unexpectedly comfortable coming-of-age tale. In 1899, individuals with severe deformities are known as freaks, fit only for the circus or the asylum. Fourteen-year-old Abel has no physical disabilities, but his parents do. He's been raised as a circus child in the Faeryland Freak Show, friend to dwarves, Siamese twins and Apollo the Dog Boy. There, Abel's unusual; without any entertaining deformities, he's never allowed to perform. But when he runs away to find his fortune (and a girl who's not a freak), Abel discovers the outer world is cruel. He finds one circus that despises freaks and imprisons those with deformities, then joins a freak show where those displayed are prisoners living in filth and fear. It's up to Abel to empower the poor wretches to rescue themselves and form a new community. The unusual setting of his adventure is treated with respect and affection. Only the romantic plot line, not developed as richly as the rest of the thoroughly compelling tale, weakens the offering. (Fiction. 12-15)Read full book review >
BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE by Annette Curtis Klause
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

Klause returns to the steamy sensuality of her first book, The Silver Kiss (1990), for this tale of a hot-blooded teenage werewolf who falls for a human "meat-boy.'' Grieving for her father and unimpressed by the age-mates in her pack, Vivian defies her mother and fellow lycanthropes by setting her sights on suburban poet-schoolmate Aiden Teague. It's an experiment that's doomed from the start. Vivian may look human (when she chooses), but her attitudes, instincts, and expectations are decidedly wolflike; short-tempered, direct in action and emotion, rough in love and play, shapeshifters make dangerous companions, their veneer of rationality as thin as their senses are sharp. Poor Aiden—as a prospective lover he's not so different from prey; to Vivian his smile flashes like heat lightning, and at times he looks so delicious she wants to "bite the buttons off his shirt.'' When, after a series of sultry but frustrating dates, Vivian reveals herself to him, he responds, not with the pleasure and lust she expects, but stark terror. Extrapolating brilliantly from wolf and werewolf lore, Klause creates a complex plot, fueled by politics, insanity, intrigue, sex, blood lust, and adolescent longings, and driven by a set of vividly scary creatures to a blood-curdling climax. The werewolves' taste for risky pranks and the author's knack for double—and even triple—entendres add sly undercurrents to this fierce, suspenseful chiller. (Fiction. 12-14) Read full book review >
ALIEN SECRETS by Annette Curtis Klause
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

The author of the extraordinary The Silver Kiss (1990: a girl and a vampire in love) creates sure-fire entertainment for younger readers by melding at least four classic scenarios. Seventh-grader Robin Goodfellow (``Puck''), expelled in disgrace, heroically redeems herself en route to her parents...who are elsewhere in the universe, so events take place on a spaceship on which ``Hush''—a lovable, elongated gray ``Shoowa''—is going home after years of enslavement by Grakks, one of whom almost gains control of the ship...which is haunted by a host of Shoowa ghosts (also the foul work of the Grakks) that Puck and Hush hope to free so they can find peace on their own planet...but, meanwhile, the passengers and crew include (along with the disguised Grakk, who's after a powerful totem that Hush wants to return to his people) smugglers and plainclothes police, in the best whodunit tradition. Klause juggles all this with admirable aplomb while devising a poetically literal manner of speech for Hush, deftly creating memorable characters (whose playfully referential names can be red herrings), writing wonderfully suspenseful scenes (page one is a sure hook), and slipping in some thoughtful, quite beautifully written passages. Klause obviously has more resources than she's using here. What next? Meanwhile, this is great fun. (Fiction. 10-14) Read full book review >