THE SORCERESS

THE SECRETS OF THE IMMORTAL NICHOLAS FLAMEL, BOOK 3

Weaving yet more figures from history and myth into the third of his six-volume fantasy, Scott whisks teenage twins Sophie and Josh to London, the stronghold of archnemesis John Dee, for an encounter with Gilgamesh—a half-senile street bum in this era but a master of Water Magic and the oldest human immortal of them all. The twins feel their ways into new powers in the course of a running battle toward (where else?) Stonehenge with the Horned God, the Wild Hunt and other foes. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, their guardian Flamel’s gifted wife Pernelle survives clouds of poisonous insects and attacks from the octopus-legged Old Man of the Sea to escape from Alcatraz Island. Master yarnspinner that he is, Scott expertly cranks up the suspense while keeping his now-large cast in quick motion. He also continues to blur the line between the two sides, injecting notes of ambiguity that will leave readers wondering. Ending in a welter of revelations, reunions and unresolved plotlines, this page-turner promises plenty of action to come. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 26, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-385-73529-2

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2009

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GUTS

THE TRUE STORIES BEHIND HATCHET AND THE BRIAN BOOKS

Paulsen recalls personal experiences that he incorporated into Hatchet (1987) and its three sequels, from savage attacks by moose and mosquitoes to watching helplessly as a heart-attack victim dies. As usual, his real adventures are every bit as vivid and hair-raising as those in his fiction, and he relates them with relish—discoursing on “The Fine Art of Wilderness Nutrition,” for instance: “Something that you would never consider eating, something completely repulsive and ugly and disgusting, something so gross it would make you vomit just looking at it, becomes absolutely delicious if you’re starving.” Specific examples follow, to prove that he knows whereof he writes. The author adds incidents from his Iditarod races, describes how he made, then learned to hunt with, bow and arrow, then closes with methods of cooking outdoors sans pots or pans. It’s a patchwork, but an entertaining one, and as likely to win him new fans as to answer questions from his old ones. (Autobiography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-385-32650-5

Page Count: 150

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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FABLEHAVEN

Witty repartee between the central characters, as well as the occasional well-done set piece, isn’t enough to hold this hefty debut together. Teenagers Seth and Kendra are dropped off by traveling parents at their grandfather’s isolated Connecticut estate, and soon discover why he’s so reluctant to have them—the place is a secret haven for magical creatures, both benign and decidedly otherwise. Those others are held in check by a complicated, unwritten and conveniently malleable Compact that is broken on Midsummer Eve, leaving everyone except Kendra captive in a hidden underground chamber with a newly released demon. Mull’s repeated use of the same device to prod the plot along comes off as more labored than comic: Over and over an adult issues a stern but vague warning; Seth ignores it; does some mischief and is sorry afterward. Sometimes Kendra joins in trying to head off her uncommonly dense brother. She comes into her own at the rousing climax, but that takes a long time to arrive; stick with Michael Buckley’s “Sisters Grimm” tales, which carry a similar premise in more amazing and amusing directions. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-59038-581-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

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