THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS by Laura Quimby

THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS

A Handcuff Kid Novel
Age Range: 11 - 13
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Failing to live up to its melodramatic title, this debut sends a multiply-fostered teen into a Land of the Dead that (except for some minotaur enforcers) isn’t much different from the land of the living. Forced by some never-explained ploy into the clutches of an evil magician, Jack Carr is whisked over the border into Purgatory to join a mixed band of living and dead children as a performer in a traveling show—for spirits who seem to eat, drink, work and play just as they did before their deaths. Being a big fan of Houdini, Jack becomes an escape artist on stage even as he plots a getaway back to the living world. Mixing in irrelevant free-verse poems about Houdini, the author grinds out a slow and predictable plot, shows little imagination in concocting her setting or supporting cast and, despite walls of illusory fire, origami animals coming to life and like manifestations, has her protagonist conclude that “real magic was man-made. Anyone could do it.” There are some good individual lines, but it's disappointingly flat overall. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8980-1
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2010