SILVERTONGUE

THE STONEHEART TRILOGY BOOK THREE

George and Edie remain admirably stoic heroes, but dry prose inhibits this conclusion’s pace. In a many-layered London, George and Edie are stuck in a timeless moment, the only humans who didn’t disappear when time froze. They’re not alone, though: Spits (metal and stone statues, mostly war figures) fight for good, while Taints (sculptures of non-human creatures) ally with the double-strong force of the dark. The dark has an Ice Devil and the ghoulish Walker, a grisly immortal who kills casually and steals life-forces. George and Edie’s tenacious fighting spirits are especially touching because of their separate histories of emotional loss, but the narration’s verbosity decelerates motion; for example, a falling object is “an angular jagged shape getting bigger with startling rapidity as it spun straight at them,” its speed slowed by description. Battle action and Edie’s nightmares also grind to a trudge. Only Edie’s time-travel views of the Walker torturing her mother move quickly and creepily. Mostly for fans of the livelier second installment. (Fantasy. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 7, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4231-0179-6

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2009

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A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula.

HOCUS POCUS AND THE ALL-NEW SEQUEL

In honor of its 25th anniversary, a Disney Halloween horror/comedy film gets a sequel to go with its original novelization.

Three Salem witches hanged in 1693 for stealing a child’s life force are revived in 1993 when 16-year-old new kid Max completes a spell by lighting a magical candle (which has to be kindled by a virgin to work). Max and dazzling, popular classmate Allison have to keep said witches at bay until dawn to save all of the local children from a similar fate. Fast-forward to 2018: Poppy, daughter of Max and Allison, inadvertently works a spell that sends her parents and an aunt to hell in exchange for the gleeful witches. With help from her best friend, Travis, and classmate Isabella, on whom she has a major crush, Poppy has only hours to keep the weird sisters from working more evil. The witches, each daffier than the last, supply most of the comedy as well as plenty of menace but end up back in the infernal regions. There’s also a talking cat, a talking dog, a gaggle of costumed heroines, and an oblique reference to a certain beloved Halloween movie. Traditional Disney wholesomeness is spiced, not soured, by occasional innuendo and a big twist in the sequel. Poppy and her family are white, while Travis and Isabella are both African-American.

A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula. (Fantasy. 10-15)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-02003-9

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Freeform/Disney

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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GUTS

THE TRUE STORIES BEHIND HATCHET AND THE BRIAN BOOKS

Paulsen recalls personal experiences that he incorporated into Hatchet (1987) and its three sequels, from savage attacks by moose and mosquitoes to watching helplessly as a heart-attack victim dies. As usual, his real adventures are every bit as vivid and hair-raising as those in his fiction, and he relates them with relish—discoursing on “The Fine Art of Wilderness Nutrition,” for instance: “Something that you would never consider eating, something completely repulsive and ugly and disgusting, something so gross it would make you vomit just looking at it, becomes absolutely delicious if you’re starving.” Specific examples follow, to prove that he knows whereof he writes. The author adds incidents from his Iditarod races, describes how he made, then learned to hunt with, bow and arrow, then closes with methods of cooking outdoors sans pots or pans. It’s a patchwork, but an entertaining one, and as likely to win him new fans as to answer questions from his old ones. (Autobiography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-385-32650-5

Page Count: 150

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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