A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
Lots, some fairly grisly: a man runs in front of a train, another is eaten by a monster, fantasy battles, various human and creature deaths, by spears, arrows, etc.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One long, open-mouthed kiss.
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Mild, infrequent swearing.
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Products & Purchases
Milky Way bars, L. L. Bean, The Gap.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A teen smokes a cigarette.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's a fair amount of fantasy violence here, and numerous killings by spear, arrow, and explosives.
Is It Any Good?
MacHale is the creator of such shows as Are You Afraid of the Dark and Ghostwriter, and his screen work has given him a shrewd sense of pacing. Though the book is overlong, it will keep young fans of the fantasy/adventure genre breathlessly turning the pages. The story careens along entertainingly, and parts of it are quite exciting.
The downside of the video connection is that the characters are from Central Casting, and the plot follows a stock formula. It's a good formula, as formulas go, but it does give the books a certain been-there-done-that feel, exacerbated by the bizarre refusal of everyone to explain anything to Bobby, an obvious and annoying plot device. Still, it's plenty of fun, and young fans of the genre aren't looking for surprises anyway.
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Our Editors Recommend
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