ISLANDS OF THE BLACK MOON by Erica Farber

ISLANDS OF THE BLACK MOON

Age Range: 8 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An insipid but well-meaning fantasy adventure, in which the scientifically inclined heroine saves the day and proves she’s not “some dumb girl.” Lila da Gama’s father has been missing for five years, but 11-year-old Lila knows that he is still alive. A visit to creepy Great Aunt Athena reveals that Lila is destined to return some magic bottles to the Islands of the Black Moon. Great Aunt Athena conveniently, and for no apparent reason, takes a sleeping potion, leaving Lila alone to enter the magical world and rescue it from evil. Evil, in this case, comprises a seductive sorceress and Vulnyx, a hunchbacked, one-eyed, ragged vulture-man who wants to cloak the Islands in his terrifying darkness. Vulnyx holds Lila’s father—alive, of course—dangling upside down over a pit of boiling lava. With her scientific knowledge and her plucky sidekick, Lila defeats Vulnyx, saves the Islands, and returns home with father and sidekick in tow. That Lila saves the day through science is intriguing, and a few moments stand out, as when Lila guides her way through a maze with a lemon-powered flashlight. It is unbelievable, however, that when Lila finds an ancient scholar who has been experimenting with lenses, he cannot comprehend her science-fair explanation of how to build a telescope correctly. A time-filler for fantasy lovers and girl scientists when all the good books are checked out of the library. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2002
ISBN: 0-385-32789-7
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2002