Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Not-So-Random Shelf: YA Fiction

When Stephen King describes a book as “[M]y all-time favorite. Astonishing,” it makes you sit up and pay attention. Down the Rabbit Hole doesn’t have the gore associated with King’s novels, but it does have the hallmarks of King’s best work-crackling tension and a heightened sense of fear and suspense that is very palpable to the reader.

Ingrid is a genuine, 100% Sherlock Holmes fan. She’s a decent student, save for math. Her life is pretty ordinary until a chance meeting with the local eccentric lands her smack in the middle of a murder investigation. Things get even more bizarre when she lands the role of Alice in the community theatre’s production of Alice in Wonderland, directed by the unusual (and later sinister) Vincent Dunn.

Down the Rabbit Hole is stuffed with action, tension, and humor. Ingrid’s final scenes with Vincent Dunn will truly raise the hairs on your arms. The book is just full of delicious tension that fans of well written mystery and horror crave. Peter Abrahams also slips in a bit of satire on community theatre and clerks at independent video stores. Some cultural references that were already off the radar in 2005, when the book was published (i.e. Chris Farley) might not be immediately grasped by all teen readers, but these small mentions are fast overlooked in favor of the masterful writing. This is a can’t miss book if you love literary mysteries with humor and satire on the side.

Behind the Curtain and Into the Dark are the second and third volumes in the Echo Falls Mystery series.

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