Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MALICE by Chris Wooding


by Chris Wooding & illustrated by Dan Chernett

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-16043-8
Publisher: Scholastic

In this hybrid-format horror/fantasy restless teens in search of adventure pass back and forth between their world and Malice—a tenebrous, ruined city stocked with clockwork monsters and other hazards. Seth’s suspicions about a string of disappearances are confirmed when he actually spots a vanished acquaintance being killed by toothy attackers in the pages of a strange, hard-to-get comic. Soon he and his best friend, Kady, find a way into that comic’s plane, where they discover allies both human and otherwise, as well as hints of a resistance to the evildoers who have wrested the city of Malice from its rightful ruler. Chernett illustrates selected high spots with sections of dark sequential panels filled with jagged shapes, confused action and oddball sound effects: “THOOM! RRRROOOWWRR—RRRUNCH.” Eventually all the narrow escapes and ominous scritching sounds in the dark seem repetitive, but for readers who value thrills over psychological depth this series kick-off offers plenty of brisk action. One sequel announced, so far. (Fantasy. 11-13)