RAVEN QUEST

Tok the raven is a nobody, an outcast. His father disgraced and killed, Tok is left with no name, no claim on territory, only shame and rage. When accused of nest breaking and murder, he must flee, in hopes of performing some deed of valor for the good of the raven community that will restore his rightful place in their world. Tok sets off on a journey to find the legendary Grey Lords, the Singers, said to be ancient partners of the ravens; in a thrilling tale of adventure, he succeeds in his quest and is reunited with his mother and community, restoring an ancient bond between ravens and wolves. It is a credit to Stewart’s storytelling that the ending of a story about ravens and wolves can be as exciting, poignant and tearful as any realistic novel. Fans of Kenneth Oppel’s Silverwing (1997) will soar with Tok. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-57505-894-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2005

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Auxier has a juggler’s dexterity with prose that makes this fantastical tale quicken the senses, even if it does bog down...

PETER NIMBLE AND HIS FANTASTIC EYES

What begins Dickensian turns Tolkien-esque in this quest replete with magic and mystery.

Peter Nimble is an orphan. Blinded by ravens in infancy and made to steal for the town’s beggar-monger (think Fagin), Peter becomes an expert thief and pickpocket. His wretched existence changes when he steals a box containing eggs that are actually three pairs of magical eyes. When Peter drops the first pair into his eye-sockets, he’s instantly swept away. Thus begins a perilous adventure wrought from a riddle found in a bottle. After much travail, Peter learns that the mysterious eyes are not always dependable. He seeks and eventually finds a vanished kingdom, where he faces a tyrannical king. The king has brainwashed all the adults and enslaved all of their children, who are controlled by a horde of bloodthirsty apes. The action never flags, even though the suspense does. With one onslaught after another, the violence turns from suggested to overt, with weaponry and bloody battles. Solving the riddle and embracing his destiny are just the beginning of Peter’s problems. In the end it’s Peter’s true talents, not magic, that prove most reliable.

Auxier has a juggler’s dexterity with prose that makes this fantastical tale quicken the senses, even if it does bog down from time to time. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0025-5

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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CHANGING MOON

From the Nola's Worlds series

Bubble-gum–tinged whimsy abounds in this stylish French graphic-novel import. Cotton-candy–tressed Nola spends her days dreaming in her peaceful town, Alta Donna. Her world is cozy and ordinary until she meets the aloof and mysterious Damiano and Inés. Nola quickly learns that there are strange forces after the siblings and is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. Nola and her friends radiate a funky fashion sense, constantly changing clothes and hairstyles; it’s hard to imagine a reader who wouldn’t want to raid her closet. This first installment propels forward with the force of a rocket—albeit a very pink, fanciful one. Luckily for the ravenous reader, the whole trilogy releases simultaneously (#2, Ferrets and Ferreting Out, PLB: 978-0-7613-6504-4; #3, Even for a Dreamer Like Me, PLB: 978-0-7613-6505-1). Though it's a fantastic visual experience, the actual plot is thin; even as Nola delves into the mystery in the subsequent volumes, the narrative never really gains any degree of complexity. However, with its upbeat palette (courtesy of Pop), manga-inspired art and hip characters, this charmer is sure to please preteen girls. (Graphic fiction. 9-12)



Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7613-6538-9

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2010

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