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A Sterkarm Kiss


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Gr 9 Up-Andrea Mitchell returns to the past, only it's not exactly the past she visited in The Sterkarm Handshake (HarperCollins, 2000). Her nasty ex-boss at FUP asks once again for her translating services, and Andrea agrees to go back through the Time Tube to the 16th century-against her better judgment-hoping she will be reunited with her lover, Per. Andrea departs and learns that she's been sent to a wholly different dimension, in which the people she lovingly remembers exist but do not recognize her. Instead of buying the loyalty of the Sterkarms, the company she works for initiates a violent overthrow by pitting them against their enemy clan, the Grannams. When an ill-fated wedding draws to its inevitable conclusion, the company's plans are set in motion, and Andrea must unravel them. Though Price re-explains the setup from book one, familiarity with that novel gives this one greater emotional resonance. The plot moves quickly, and there's as much or more violence than in the previous book. The idea of a past that's actually a part of another dimension gets a bit confusing (16-A, 16-B), but it effectively comes together in a cliff-hanger ending. The impersonal, inhuman violence of the 21st-siders is subtly, effectively juxtaposed with the brutality and anger of the 16th-siders. Andrea again faces an impossible but emotionally engaging situation: choosing between her murderous 16th-century lover and her destructive 21st-side counterparts. Like Connie Willis's Doomsday Book (Bantam, 1993), this is perfect for sophisticated YA readers.-Sarah Couri, New York Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

A follow-up to The Sterkarm Handshake (which PW called "a gripping time-travel adventure"), A Sterkarm Kiss by Susan Price finds Andrea Mitchell returning to "16th side" (aka 16th-century)-albeit to a slightly different dimension where familiar people (namely her beloved Per, introduced in the first book as the only son of a Sterkarm lord) have never met her. Andrea leaps at the chance to return to the present, but soon becomes embroiled in a feud between the Sterkarm and Grannam families. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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