THE DOOR IN THE LAKE by Nancy Butts

THE DOOR IN THE LAKE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a story that young X-Files fans will snap up, and which in its basic premise follows that of the movie, The Flight of the Navigator, Joey suddenly disappears from a lakeside camp and reappears just as mysteriously two years later, to find himself with a baby sister, a younger brother who's bigger than he is, and friends who have moved on in their lives. Joey has only vague memories of a great spiral of light, a shadowy presence, and a sound like wind chimes, all of which he keeps to himself, not wanting to be thought crazy. Joey's efforts to recreate a normal life go awry when, first, his version of events gets out, and second, an insistent voice in his head begins urging him to return to the lake. Although the plot is disjointed and contrivance-driven, Joey's feeling of dislocation, and the discomfort others feel in his presence, is credibly presented, and the climactic scene, in which the alien appears to convey Joey back to the time and place from which he vanished, features the requisite glaring lights, odd gravitational effects, and weird atmosphere. Butts (Cheshire Moon, 1996) doesn't try too hard to answer questions or maintain her story's internal logic, but it's rare to find stories for young people about closer encounters that aren't played for laughs.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1998
ISBN: 1590786319
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Front Street--dist. by PGW