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Succeeds brilliantly in being that unusual thing - a book which appeals to both boys and girls A very contemporary adventure, combining thrilling suspense and intriguing relationships
Marianne Curley's debut novel Old Magic established her place as an exciting and original voice in the world of children's literature and has sold in 13 countries. Marianne lives in New South Wales, Australia.
Gr 7-10-Ethan, 16, belongs to the Guard, a secret group of humans who use paranormal powers to protect the Earth against the Order of Chaos. While Chaos tries to change the course of history, the Guards travel back in time to thwart their schemes. Isabel's healing powers bring her to the Guard's attention, and Ethan is assigned to be her trainer. The two engage in some dangerous time-traveling assignments, which lead to an ultimate battle between the two opposing forces. The plot ends up involving many others from Ethan's town, including his teacher, his father, his best friend, and his long-dead sister. The narrative alternates between Ethan and Isabel, and his earnest and sometimes-arrogant manner is balanced by her more casual style. This is all fairly lively, with a premise that's easy to follow and some involving action scenes and character dynamics. The time-travel adventures lack a true sense of immediacy, though, especially when compared to the more gripping scenes involving Marduke, the horrible soldier of Chaos. The identity of a mysterious masked female will be easy for readers to guess. Despite a few slow spots, however, the author keeps things moving smoothly toward the climax. While the anticipated battle involving Ethan's father and Marduke settles the main conflict in a satisfying way, some unresolved plot threads set the stage for a sequel.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Praise for 'Old Magic': 'A confident debut that announces the arrival of a bright, lively new voice' TES Praise for 'The Named': 'Another gripping teenage novel from the author of Old Magic. Once more Marianne Curley pulls off a thrilling, complicated and magical story while keeping a firm grip on the reality of present day life' Irish Independent 'This pacey, contemporary mix of action, suspense and fiery relationships is cleverly calculated to appeal to both boys and girls' Books Magazine 'Marianne Curley's second novel, "The Named", succeeds in combining the contemporary with the historical in this lively, eventful adventure' The Bookseller
Magic blooms in Angel Falls, the setting of this promising launch to Curley's (Old Magic) time travel trilogy. At the edge of a national forest, where two worlds co-exist, 16-year-old Ethan Roberts guards time or, more specifically, history ("My job is to make sure it all happens the way it's supposed to, the way it already did"). As one of the Named, a Guardian of Time, he has been doing this since age four, not long after his 10-year-old sister, Sera, was killed. Her murderer, an evil half-faced monster, Marduke, is an Order of Chaos minion who wishes to alter the past in order to change the future-and to avenge his own losses. As the novel opens, Ethan is given an Apprentice to train, 15-year-old Isabel Becket, younger sister of his ex-best friend. With the help of Arkarian, a 600-year-old Guardian who lives deep inside the mountain, Isabel quickly takes to the apprenticeship, and her power to heal strengthens. But the forces of good and evil are headed for a Final Conflict foreseen by the Prophecy found in Veridian, the ancient city hidden deep under Angel Falls. No machine is required for time travel here; a strange "sleep" is the conduit between worlds past and present. Told in convincing alternating chapters by Isabel and Ethan, the novel reveals a mystery, the clues to which unfold via the duo's trip back in time to John of Gaunt (during the reign of Richard II) and details of Sera's death. Readers will likely be swept up by the ever-growing complications and want to return for the series' next installments. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.