Kirkus Reviews QR Code
NIGHT WINGS by Joseph Bruchac


by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: July 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-112318-4
Publisher: HarperCollins

Bruchac’s not at his best in this weak, predictable tale. When both of his parents are deployed to Iraq, 13-year-old Paul moves in with his Grampa Peter, an Abenaki wilderness guide living in an isolated trailer near Mount Washington. One night the two are seized by Darby Field, the ruthless host of an In Search of Ancient Mysteries–style TV series, who has set his sights on a supposed cultural treasure being guarded (according to local legend) by Pmola, a giant winged creature. After a show of reluctance Grampa Peter agrees to lead Field and his crew of thugs up the mountain to the treasure—a journey that quickly leads into a different reality, where the predatory monster is waiting for them. The author brings Abenaki ways of life and thought in the modern world into sharp focus here, but the villains are so far-fetched and stereotyped that even uncritical readers will have trouble keying into the labored suspense. An off-kilter effort from the author of Bearwalker (2007), Skeleton Man (2001) and other more effective terror tales. (Fantasy. 11-13)