THE EXPLOSIONIST by Jenny Davidson

THE EXPLOSIONIST

Age Range: 13 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Adult novelist and scholarly author Davidson crafts a YA alternate-history/murder-mystery romp—and mostly pulls it off. In a world in which Napoleon won Waterloo, it’s 1939 and the Federated States of Europe and the New Hanseatic League have concluded one war but may be poised for another. Sixteen-year-old Sophie finds herself in the midst of political intrigue after a medium delivers a cryptic message and then turns up dead. The medium’s death is just the start: IRYLNS, founded by Sophie’s great-aunt and guardian, transforms girls into perfect secretaries via a sinister process; Sophie’s chemistry teacher may be masterminding suicide bombers; and spirits seem set on communication. The world-building sometimes falters and thinking too hard about the changes may confuse readers (how did Freud become a radio personality, and why is he fixated on Daedalus?), but despite the flaws, who can resist a spunky heroine, political machinations and a disembodied Alfred Nobel? Readers willing to dive in will be eager for the sequel. (author’s note) (Fantasy/alternate history. 13 & up)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-123975-5
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2008




BOOKSHELVES OF DOOM: TEEN BOOKS FOR ADULTS:

ChildrenCHIME by Franny Billingsley
by Franny Billingsley
ChildrenSOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU by Peter Cameron
by Peter Cameron
ChildrenGRACELING by Kristin Cashore
by Kristin Cashore

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenCURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES by Gail Carriger
by Gail Carriger
ChildrenSOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY by Susan Dennard
by Susan Dennard