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THE MIDNIGHT GATE by Helen Stringer


by Helen Stringer

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: May 10th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-38764-8
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Continuing where Spellbinder (2009) left off, Belladonna, and her Paladin, Steve Evans, are stuck in regular school now after all their adventures. There’s still the ghost Elsie for entertainment, but life seems somewhat dull after saving the world. When given a parchment by the apparition of a monk at a monastery with clues about a threat to all mankind, the games begin for the duo again. As before, the matter-of-fact tone and world-weary attitude contrast nicely with the evil and other-worldly forces. In a narrative full of words with capital letters, Belladonna and Steve must unravel the clues, battle against the return of the Dark Times and go to the House of Ashes and find the Queen of the Abyss for help. It’s All a Bit Much. Belladonna is placed with a suspect foster family when her ghost parents disappear along with her live grandmother. Steve’s mum has vanished since the close of the first book, but Steve seems unconcerned. There’s a lively struggle to save the world on the eve of the Day of the Crows, though, when spaces between the Nine Worlds are closest together and it takes Words of Power to succeed. Best reserve this one for those enamored of the series opener and fans of British-flavored fantasy. (Fantasy. 9-13)