THE SPECTER KEY by Kaleb Nation


Bran Hambric, Book 2
From the "Bran Hambric" series, volume 2
Age Range: 11 - 13
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The author of Bran Hambric: The Fairfield Curse (2009) dishes up an equally maladroit sequel featuring the same sort of nonsensical plot, clumsy satirical elements and ham-fisted writing. Tucking in lines like, “It knew his name, which was enough to send terror through his skin,” and, “the creature leapt forward, striking his finger with her teeth,” Nation sends his young wizard-in-training on a rescue mission after a mysterious Key left him by his dead mother explodes with magic one random night and sucks the soul of his best friend/main squeeze Astara into a trap (her corpse conveniently disappears from its buried coffin some time later). Joined along the way by his previously unknown father and a Tinkerbell-style vampire fairy with obscure loyalties and motives, Bran eventually finds and destroys the trap (and the Key—supposedly, that is) in the sort of running battle with the mage who killed his mother that pauses while he dives into a lake to rescue the miraculously alive Astara and ends with everyone pretty much back where they started, poised for the next episode. Not a stand-alone, or, for that matter, a stand-at-all. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4059-1
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2010