Monday, August 6, 2012

starred review in KIRKUS

Jack is cleaning up.

Today, Passenger (October 2 from Feiwel and Friends) received its second starred review -- this one from Kirkus.

I'm not even going to say how tough it is to get a star from Kirkus. Trust me. It is.

And to receive such a thoughtful and flattering review leaves me significantly blown away.

Funny side-note about this review: When Kirkus contacted my editor, Liz Szabla [chimes!] to confirm the accuracy of the quoted passage, everyone was naturally concerned that there would be some negative take on the content and language of the novel.

Not so.

Thank you very much, Kirkus, for this review which will appear in their September 1 issue:

Oct 2012. 480 p. Feiwel and Friends, hardcover, $17.99. (9781250004871).

The menacing, post-apocalyptic world of Marbury is again richly imagined in this stunning sequel to The Marbury Lens (2010).

Four boys at the heart of the first novel return for another harrowing journey. Jack, whose abduction and near-rape was the catalyst that brought about his descent into Marbury, his best friend, Conner, and Ben and Griffin, two boys they first encountered in the alternate world, begin by attempting to destroy the lens that clutches Jack in its grip, compelling him to return repeatedly to the horrific world of cannibals, monsters and death. When they smash it, they inadvertently create a schism between dimensions—their hometown of Glenbrook becomes a terrifying mirror of Marbury with many variations in between—making escape nearly impossible. As in the first, readers will not be sure what is real, what is nightmare, what may be metaphor. Smith has created a fantastically effective, sinister setting and imbued it with characters that are loyal and decent, even at their most desperate. Unrelentingly harsh in tone and language (“Fuck this…I’ll show you who he is. We’ll fucking go kill him. I’ll bring back his fucking head”), this will be devoured by fans of the first, despite the fact that it offers few clear answers, right to the surprisingly gentle and wise conclusion.

Brilliant and remarkably unsettling. (Horror/fantasy. 16 & up)