THE HAUNTING OF ALAIZABEL CRAY

Readers will get finger cramps from rapidly turning the pages of Wooding’s gripping tale, an excellent mélange of horror, suspense, and the gothic. Set in a strange, alternative London just 20 years after a German airship fleet humiliated the British by bombing London into submission, the narrative describes a city under siege by wych-kin—supernatural monsters who prey on the human population—and Stitch-face, a weirdly masked serial murderer. Seventeen-year-old Thaniel, on a wych-kin hunt, finds a beautiful young woman, Alaizabel Cray, who has no memory of her past. His efforts to protect Alaizabel uncover threatening, unexplained incidents throughout the city. Complex plotting and structure combine with rich, atmospheric world-building in a fast-paced, tension-filled read. The growing relationship between Thaniel and Alaizabel animates the plot, and the other characters support interest admirably. This brilliant effort will appeal to readers of Philip Pullman, Cornelia Funke, and Christopher Pike as well as to older teen fans of fantasy “new weird” writers like China Miéville. (Fiction. 13+)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-439-54656-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

TWILIGHT

From the Twilight series , Vol. 1

Sun-loving Bella meets her demon lover in a vampire tale strongly reminiscent of Robin McKinley’s Sunshine. When Bella moves to rainy Forks, Wash., to live with her father, she just wants to fit in without drawing any attention. Unfortunately, she’s drawn the eye of aloof, gorgeous and wealthy classmate Edward. His behavior toward Bella wavers wildly between apparent distaste and seductive flirtation. Bella learns Edward’s appalling (and appealing) secret: He and his family are vampires. Though Edward nobly warns Bella away, she ignores the human boys who court her and chooses her vampiric suitor. An all-vampire baseball game in a late-night thunderstorm—an amusing gothic take on American family togetherness that balances some of the tale’s romantic excesses—draws Bella and her loved ones into terrible danger. This is far from perfect: Edward’s portrayal as monstrous tragic hero is overly Byronic, and Bella’s appeal is based on magic rather than character. Nonetheless, the portrayal of dangerous lovers hits the spot; fans of dark romance will find it hard to resist. (Fantasy. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-316-16017-2

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2005

Did you like this book?

CLOCKWORK ANGEL

From the Infernal Devices series , Vol. 1

A century before the events of Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy, another everyday heroine gets entangled with demon-slaying Shadowhunters. Sixteen-year-old orphaned Tessa comes to London to join her brother but is imprisoned by the grotesque Dark Sisters. The sisters train the unwilling Tessa in previously unknown shapeshifter abilities, preparing her to be a pawn in some diabolical plan. A timely rescue brings Tessa to the Institute, where a group of misfit Shadowhunters struggles to fight evil. Though details differ, the general flavor of Tessa’s new family will be enjoyably familiar to the earlier trilogy’s fans; the most important is Tessa’s rescuer Will, the gorgeous, sharp-tongued teenager with a mysterious past and a smile like “Lucifer might have smiled, moments before he fell from Heaven.” The lush, melodramatic urban fantasy setting of the Shadowhunter world morphs seamlessly into a steampunk Victorian past, and this new series provides the setup for what will surely be a climactic battle against hordes of demonically powered brass clockworks. The tale drags in places, but this crowdpleaser’s tension-filled conclusion ratchets toward a new set of mysteries. (Steampunk. 13-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7586-1

Page Count: 496

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more