LIBYRINTH by Pearl North


Age Range: 12 - 15
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This complex novel depicts the final conflict between major subcultures of an Earth colony long divorced from its origins. Fifteen-year-olds Haly and Clauda and their slightly older companion Selene pursue the long-lost Book of the Night hoping to provide redemption for their deeply divided society. The novel combines many science-fiction tropes—the quest, dystopian governments, degenerated society—into a clever, original story. The page-turner plot and themes of the abuses of authority, the nature of prejudice and the power of the written word provide the primary focus. The main characters, all strong, individualized young women, are convincingly drawn, but some of the secondary cast are hard to differentiate. Who cares? The dramatic, satisfying climax and deftly handled resolution of the many plot threads will convince and exhilarate readers. Some mature language and frank discussions of sexual relations (though no descriptions) will age this up. Give it to readers of William Nicholson’s books, the His Dark Materials trilogy and teens who loved The Giver. A bibliographic “Guide to Quotations” nicely wraps up this book-lover’s delight. (Science fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2096-4
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2009


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