Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE HAUNTING OF ALAIZABEL CRAY by Chris Wooding Kirkus Star

THE HAUNTING OF ALAIZABEL CRAY

By Chris Wooding

Age Range: 13 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-439-54656-7
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

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+)