Books by Sean Stewart

CATHY’S RING by Sean Stewart
Released: May 1, 2009

Plucky, impulsive, go-get-'em-girl Cathy Vickers and her immortal boyfriend Victor are back with a half-assed bang in the series's third and (let's hope) final installment. Fans know the recipe already, with the story taking the form of Cathy's journal, complete with drawings, real phone numbers and websites meant to heighten readers' experience. This time, however, the plot feels thinner on thrills and heavier on convenient twists. The story: Cathy and company vow to take down the evil Ancestor Lu, who plots to destroy her family. The drama: Cathy tests Vincent's love when she's caught making out with Denny, her trustworthy human sidekick and the protective brother of slutty, two-faced Jewel, who stole Cathy's purse in the second book. (Note: Jewel's ridiculous clown costume represents the novel's only high point.) The shortfall: Though many readers will be excited to read Cathy's further and final adventures, the first book in the series packed the biggest thrills. What sells this episode short are obviously contrived plotting and convenient, offstage action sequences that underwhelm the discoveries that result. Is the phenomenon over? Does anyone care? Meh. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
CATHY’S KEY by Sean Stewart
Released: May 1, 2008

In this sequel to 2006's multimedia New York Times bestseller, teen heroine Cathy Vickers returns only to have her diary and cell phone stolen. Confusion and mêlée ensue, and Cathy has to call on her immortal boyfriend Victor, her best friend Emma and Emma's goofy boyfriend Pete to help out. Throw in Victor's creepy dad, who's also immortal and has a crush on Cathy, half a dozen other offbeat immortals and a drugged-out plastic surgeon. Full of the same snarky, teenaged wordplay, off-kilter coincidences and eerie tension as the first installment, this offering will thrill its fan base. Though the plot on the printed page feels pieced together, readers can flesh the story out by calling the number on the cover and—if produced similarly to the first—examining the evidence packet that comes with it. (The first included websites that worked, artwork, musings and memorabilia.) Cathy is as lovable as ever, and her deadpan, smart-alecky voice and sketches should draw new readers to the series. Perfect for gaming fans, reluctant readers and manga enthusiasts. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
GALVESTON by Sean Stewart
Released: March 1, 2000

"for wizard Gar Pike (otherwise known as the psi-powered Magnus d'Armand), his new sidekick Alea, and their intelligent spaceship Herkimer. Together they roam the galaxy, subverting and overthrowing corrupt or authoritarian governments. This time, though, they find a planet whose government, far from being corrupt or oppressive, doesn't seem to exist at all'yet would-be dictators get their comeuppance anyway. How? An agreeably terse addition to this light, gently satirical series. "
Another outing (A Wizard in Midgard, 1998, etc.) Read full book review >
MOCKINGBIRD by Sean Stewart
Released: Aug. 1, 1998

Contemporary metaphorical fantasy from the author of Night Watch (1997). Momma, Elena Beauchamp of Houston, Texas, has died of cancer, leaving two daughters to argue over her legacy: Momma, you see, was a witch, and while Toni, the plain, practical daughter, wants neither the benefits nor the burdens that accrue, gorgeous and optimistic Candy would welcome the gift. The Riders, spirits embodied in a set of weird dolls, yielded Momma her magic abilities; but in exchange, the mercurial Mockingbird, the cold, hard Preacher, Sugar the flirt, Pierrot the cruel clown, the stern, protective Widow, or the implacable, manipulative Mr. Copper would also —mount,— or possess, her for a while. Momma, too, would tell heart-rending stories about a Little Lost Girl who could never find her way home. At the funeral, Candy'she can sometimes see the future, but only its happy events—tricks Toni into drinking Momma's Mockingbird Cordial (as Momma had instructed), and poor Toni finds she's inherited the Riders against her will. Even worse, Toni learns all about Momma's darkest secrets—not just the drunkenness, cruelty, and favoritism, but debts, affairs, even another daughter whom the Widow forced Momma to abandon. In confronting these unexpected developments, Toni slowly learns to take control of her own life and comes to understand and accept Momma's —gift that cannot be refused—. Knotty, unsparing, and impressively wrought, but what it all means is anyone's guess. Read full book review >
NIGHT WATCH by Sean Stewart
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

A yarn set in the same world as Resurrection Man (1995), where magic has seeped back into the world since WW II and, after a climactic event in 2004, triumphed over and extinguished science- -except that, in 2047, advanced computers, engines, and whatnot still work. The South Side of the city Edmonton is relatively magic-free since grandfather Winter literally cut out the magic ``angel'' growing inside him and sacrificed it to the Powers of North Side in a dreadful Deal. Now his granddaughter Emily must renew the deal, but she refuses and flees to Vancouver, where Chinatown's leaders have hired troops from Edmonton in order to keep their own magic—generated by monsters at bay. Winter demands Emily's return and will supply no more troops until Chinatown complies. Unfortunately, Emily has entered the nearby Forest, a Power that likes Emily and eats troops for breakfast. Hereafter the plot, always fragmentary and meandering, comes off the rails altogether. There's a power struggle among the Chinese. . . . Death shows up. . . . and. . . . What with the intriguing but fatally inconsistent backdrop, clunky exposition—Stewart, a Canadian, stops everything to rhapsodize about Wayne Gretzky and the '87 Oilers, for instance— and absence of logic: charming, sometimes, but a shambles. Read full book review >
CLOUDS END by Sean Stewart
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

Peculiar, nebulous otherworld fantasy from the author of Resurrection Man (1995), etc. The island Clouds End is the most recent to have emerged from the Mist. On the beach one day, young Brook is visited by Jo, a ``haunt'' in the shape of a gull; the haunt ``twins'' Brook, taking her semblance: a process of evil omen, since those twinned almost always come to untimely ends. But Jo demands a ship to take her to Delta, where she wishes to warn the inhabitants of an imminent attack from the mainland. So Jo, Brook, sailor Rope, and various others head for Delta—which, by the time they arrive, has already been invaded and subdued by Hazel Twist's troops at the order of the Emperor, who, quite mad, is being consumed by an inner Fire. Jo takes the Fire into herself, and the Emperor, restored, cancels the war. And there are still further complications in store for Jo, Brook, and Rope when they finally return to Clouds End. While originality is always welcome, this sort of unquantifiable froth—vague, flimsy plot, indistinguishable characters, elusive backdrop and all—will satisfy few readers. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1995

A peculiar yet fairly persuasive fantasy from the Canadian author of Passion Play (a 1993 paperback) whose premise is that magic started to seep back into the world after WW II. Those capable of working magic are known as ``angels.'' But there is, of course, a downside: Horrible, blood-thirsty ``minotaurs'' appear spontaneously in parts of town and must be shot by police. Dante Ratkay is an embryonic angel afraid to allow his powers to blossom, while his dark shadow of a brother, Jet, is convinced that someone stole hisJet'ssoul when he was a baby. With Jet and sister Sarah, Dante discovers a corpse in his room; what's worse, it's his own! Using the surgical tools of their pathologist father, the three dissect the cadaver in the boathouseonly to uncover a huge and evidently terminal cancer. Is Dante fated to die in a few days? Well, the close-knit Ratkay family harbors any number of dark secrets: Jet's resentful boyhood rivalry with his brother apparently involved several attempts to kill Dante. Eight years ago, Sarah had a miscarriage, and now she's haunted by the ghost of an eight-year-old girl. Aunt Sophie's husband, Pendleton, gambled with a devil's Sending for the soul of Sophie's unborn child, and lost; Pendleton drowned himself, while the child became Jet. Dante must flex his emerging magic powers to discover the truth and resolve the potentially disastrous conflictsespecially when his father abruptly drops dead, and Dante realizes that the body they found was not his after all. Volatile and sometimes overwrought, but nonetheless absorbing and distinctive. Read full book review >