SOUL STEALER by Martin Booth


Age Range: 11 - 13
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This sequel to Doctor Illuminatus (2004) is likewise shaky on internal logic, but rich in thoroughly researched alchemical lore and icky set pieces. Twins Pip and Tim report to their new school, and soon run into not only a “wodwo,” an aggressive, apish creature thousands of years old, but also a chemistry teacher who is actually a centuries-old alchemist. He’s coincidentally in the final stages of a vaguely articulated plot to turn a local nuclear plant into a facility that will pump Evil to electrical outlets all over England. Foiling these two requires help from Sebastian—a magic-working ally from the Middle Ages who manages to disguise himself as a modern student despite being given to utterances like, “It is in the hours of darkness that evil thrives.” Moreover, there are squishy encounters with attacking armies of earthworms and large cockroaches and a gruesome climactic dustup at the nuclear plant. In the end, another Chernobyl is narrowly averted and the villains suffer fates ambiguous enough to leave room for appearances in further sequels. The parts may not add up, but some of them are memorable enough to keep reader interest in the series going. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-316-15591-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2005


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