THE FIRE THIEF by Terry Deary


Age Range: 12 - 14
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Deary takes a stab at extending the myth of Prometheus, carving a tale that, despite its satiric edge, manages to miss anything vital, such as an audience. Given a chance to escape the forcible daily removal of his liver while he searches for proof of this claim that humans can be as heroic as gods, Prometheus travels two million years forward, to a 19th-century Earth polluted by his gift of fire, but also corrupted by the “gifts” released from Pandora’s box. Flying into Eden City on borrowed wings, he hooks up with a con man and his young sidekick Jim, helps to engineer a prison escape after a robbery goes wrong and then goes off to continue his quest—with a liver-loving Fury hot on his heels. Jim narrates, taking continual, tiresome delight in snarky authorial asides; the tale spins dizzyingly from one literary allusion to the next, changing tone abruptly as it moves through sophisticated comedy to broad burlesque, savagely lampooning the upper class, then ending with a superficially optimistic epilogue. Self-consciously Dickensian in cast and theme, this pastiche is likely to leave readers as confused as they are unimpressed. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2005
ISBN: 0-7534-5818-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Kingfisher
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2005