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MAYHEM by Artist Arthur

MAYHEM

By Artist Arthur

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: July 19th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-373-22993-2
Publisher: Kimani Tru

Angry, tormented and lovestruck Jake narrates this third installment of Arthur's (Manifest, 2010) Mystyx series.

Like his fellow Mystyx, Sasha, Lindsey and Krystal, Jake has magical powers that stem from the Goddess Styx and is poised to take a fundamental role in the struggle between Light and Dark. Which side Jake will choose, however, is uncertain, and a sinister but compelling voice inside his head keeps urging Jake to embrace his anger and fight for the Dark. Meanwhile, Jake's feelings for Krystal intensify, and two rich bullies target Jake with verbal and physical aggression. Most nuanced here is Jake's family: His mother is missing under mysterious circumstances, and his father, aware of the Mystyx legacy but in denial, is believably strained and muddled when he talks to Jake about the family's powers. Jake's descent into Dark power is handled well, and the portrayal hints at relationship violence without deeply exploring the issue. Some of the text feels awkward and unpolished. A few but not all chapters begin with epigraphs from Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the verb tense repeatedly slips between present and past and too many lines of dialogue come with lengthy back story or a repetitive explanation of why the character said what he or she did.

An engaging if occasionally clunky story for readers who have followed the adventures of the Mystyx thus far; those new to the Mystyx should start with Book One. (Paranormal adventure. 12-16)