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FADE TO BLUE by Sean Beaudoin


by Sean Beaudoin & illustrated by Sean Beaudoin

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-316-01417-5
Publisher: Little, Brown

Stellar wit and a thrilling pace become mired in complicated plotting in this promising but at times frustrating effort. At the onset, basketball star Kenny Fade and Sophie “Gothika” Blue seem to have little in common but for some recent bizarre experiences that fill them with questions. Experimental in form, the novel begins with chapter none, continues up to 20, inserts a short comic-book novella and then reverses from chapter 20 back to none. The first section (none through 20) is wickedly funny and creepily dreamlike, a satisfying combination that sets the stage for a sinister mystery involving Sophie’s missing father’s lab and its questionable practices. The mini-comic is rendered in shaded black-and-white art that is decidedly more modern in style than the 1950s tropes it illustrates (boxy robots, scientists in lab coats, buxom nurses). In its final section, the novel becomes almost completely nonlinear. This lack of convention is not necessarily a bad thing, but will definitely require patient readers who are content to be left with more questions than answers. (Science fiction. 12 & up)