THE OTHER BOOK by Philip Womack


Age Range: 11 - 13
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Womack works familiar fantasy elements into a tale with a distinctly penumbral atmosphere for his debut. The titular MacGuffin is an ancient, semi-animate tome that guards the gateway between this world and a nebulous but plainly horrible Other. For centuries in the keeping of the de la Zouche family, descendants of Merlin and Vivien, it had been hidden away on the grounds of Oldstone Manor (now a dreary boarding school) after one keeper used its power for evil—but the time has come to fulfill a prophecy by cleansing it with the blood of a “maiden.” The onus falls on innocent young Edward Pollock, a student with uncommon sensitivity to the supernatural world and a penchant for very vivid dreams. Suddenly, Edward finds himself in a desperate struggle to understand what’s going on, to resist the malicious influences of the volume that has been thrust into his hands, and most of all to keep it away from Lady Anne de la Zouche, a beautiful, arrogant witch. The author fills out the plot with plenty of captures, escapes, betrayals and revelations, tucks in encounters with luridly sinister magical creatures and after a muddled climax leaves the door open for future episodes. Fans of Jenny Nimmo’s Charlie Bone series and similar dark-flavored fare will be drawn in. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59990-201-2
Page count: 225pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2008


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