THE FEARFUL by Keith Gray


Age Range: 11 & up
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Fifteen-year-old Tim will become the Mourner next week. The 13th in his family since 1699 to do so, he’ll have to collect roadkill and meaty donations for the weekly Feed to placate the monster that may inhabit their English lake, although it hasn’t been seen in many years, if at all. Legend dictates that these offerings will protect the Fearful, now only a small percentage of the locals, from the monster’s depredations. But Tim can’t force himself to believe any longer in the face of 21st-century science. This leads to conflict with his girlfriend and his family, especially his father, as he tries to find a way out of his dilemma—become the next Mourner, or tell the truth and run away—in an intriguing take on coming-of-age issues. Obvious parallels to organized religion abound throughout. A minimal level of suspense is sustained through this somewhat long but interesting effort, peopled with well-developed characters. Believable dialogue features some British slang that may confound a few readers. Altogether, an unusual and entertaining read. (Fantasy. 11 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-09-945656-8
Page count: 293pp
Publisher: Transworld/Definitions
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2008


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