An easy and light read, especially for young sci-fi mystery lovers.

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THE BOY WHO PLAYED WITH DARK MATTER

SECRET ADVENTURES OF ZEDDY

In Holy Ghost Writer’s third installment of his 12-book series, Zeddy, a young boy, embarks on an epic journey to find and save his father.

It’s 2099, and a strict International Government rules the world. In this police state, the International Government has rewritten history for its benefit, smart children are taken from their parents to work for the government, new laws are decreed daily, and the environment and ozone are in great jeopardy of collapsing from years of abuse. Zeddy is 6 going on 16. His IQ is through the roof, he loves books, and he’s a science whiz, just like his father, Zane. Since Zane has a deep knowledge of science, he’s made to work part time for the International Government. When Zane mysteriously disappears, Zeddy and his mother embark on a journey to find him. Since the International Government, however, is strict, suspicious and seemingly ubiquitous, the two must be careful not to get caught digging into a government employee’s disappearance. Before embarking on his search, Zeddy discovers a zutterfly. A zutterfly is similar to a butterfly but is made of dark matter. They are one of the inhabitants of the planet Zamira. The zutterfly somehow came to Earth with Zane and wishes to return to Zamira. Zeddy intuits that Zamira and this zutterfly are the keys to discovering his father’s location. The Holy Ghost Writer departs from his/her normal reliance on previously developed characters in this third book. Though this originality is refreshing, the plot, scenes and character development remain thin. For instance, Zeddy wants to research a professor who might be able to help find his father. The International Government can monitor all Internet searches, so in order to disguise his search, Zeddy follows his investigation with a search for a piece of information about space that is slightly related to the professor. Though it seems to be meant to display Zeddy’s craftiness and wit, it instead exposes a rather ignorant government that cannot see through such a simple decoy. The author hooks the reader more successfully than the previous two volumes, and Zeddy’s quick-paced search drives momentum and curiosity.

An easy and light read, especially for young sci-fi mystery lovers.

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1481096492

Page Count: 98

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2013

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An artfully crafted tale with mesmerizing details and a subtle exploration of free will and good versus evil.

BEHIND THE BLUE

A fan of magic and her reluctant companion embark on an adventure when the mysterious Blue Man charges them with a mission.

Little Katherine contemplates what exists behind the scrim of the sky, and she gets her answer after she meets a boy named Charlie, who literally runs into her upon fleeing a blue man and a talking salamander he encounters in the nearby forest. The man is non-threatening, and asks the two to help him recover some lost items, to which Katherine heartily agrees. He doesn’t provide much information, however, so once she and Charlie enter this enchanted universe, they must take it upon themselves to figure out what the Blue Man has lost and how to go about helping him find it. With the help of guides like snarky, enigmatic Gerald and good-natured Frank, the children travel through very deep puddles to different realms behind the clouds, learning about the Blue Man’s nemesis, Grey Lady, who may have snatched his magical dragon stones. Schilling’s well drawn, vibrant world elevates his story above the standard adventure quest. His lively, amusing dialogue complements a fantastical world where fish flit through the air like bees (and may accidentally transport you elsewhere), manta rays make shy cabbies, crushed flowers pop back to life and magic permeates everything. While adults will find the narrative captivating, this book is tailor-made for storytime read-alouds.

An artfully crafted tale with mesmerizing details and a subtle exploration of free will and good versus evil.

Pub Date: July 15, 2005

ISBN: 0-595-36189-7

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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AFTER HAMELIN

An expansion of the classic story of the pied piper, this tells of young Penelope, left behind when the piper returns for the children of Hamelin after saving the town from rats. On her 11th birthday, she must enter the world of dreams, accompanied by an eclectic assortment of companions—a talking cat, a jump-roping dragon, a blind harpist—and eventually face the piper himself in a battle of power, greed, and music. Narrated by a 101-year-old Penelope, the story bounces between recollections of the adventure, ruminations on her life, and meeting another Penelope, who is approaching her 11th birthday. By trying to incorporate too many subplots, Richardson fails to explain some of the more central points of the main story. He also introduces and dismisses concepts and props with no consistency. Penelope brings a jump rope with her, but it is rarely mentioned until she has use for it. The only way for Penelope to resist the piper’s enchanted music is to not hear it; she suddenly becomes deaf on her 11th birthday, an occurrence left unexplained. Nor does the reader ever find out why she conveniently regains her hearing upon entering the dreamland. Contrived and disjointed, this is an original interpretation that lacks development. Likely to attract lovers of fairy-tales, but it will disappoint. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-55037-629-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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