Demons, martial arts and vomiting bats combine to make a fabulous fiction debut from a HUGE new talent.
For the last ten years Sam Enthoven has been working as a part-time bookseller, living largely on a diet of instant noodles and parsnips while honing his skills as a writer of thrillers for young people. He is passionately - possibly 'certifiably' - committed to the ideal of books that make kids want to read; if you like The Black Tattoo, you should see what he writes now he can afford something decent to eat once in a while.
Lee possesses some of the weary working-class grandeur of Michael Caine, shading his reading of Enthoven's debut fantasy novel set in London and the underworld with the occasional broad mannerism, and raising his voice to a goblet-shattering screech for emphasis. Lee is innovative in his voicings, though; he provides some of the slinkier, more seductive characters in Enthoven's book with a baritone boom that will rumble speakers, and other characters banter agreeably with a delicate chirp. This tale of two boys swept up in an ancient secret mingles the magical and the mundane, and Lee superbly handles both elements of the book, comfortably portraying British boys and age-old demons. His performance summons the grandeur of both London and Hell itself, and more than adequately fleshes out Enthoven's characters in all their multifariousness. Lee is a narrator to watch. Ages 9-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Gr 9 Up-London teen Jack leads a not-very-interesting life. His friend Charlie is none too bright and is blinded by his anger over his parents' divorce. Jack stands by his best mate through thick and thin, even when Charlie, possessed by a demon, crosses into Hell itself. Khentimentu, also known as the Scourge, has been trapped in the roots of an ancient tree for thousands of years by a secret society called The Brotherhood of Sleep. Charlie, thinking he is being recruited into it, unwittingly becomes a host for the escaped Scourge, manifested in a writhing, black tattoo. With Charlie's help, the demon kills all the members of the Brotherhood except the young warrior-woman Esme. When the demon and Charlie escape into Hell, it is up to Jack and Esme to rescue Charlie and save the universe from Khentimentu's evil plan. Enthoven has created an interesting and original universe and a gripping story. Hell is a demon-populated Roman empire at its most decadent, complete with gladiators and an all-powerful emperor. There are a few plot inconsistencies in this hefty book, and scattered Briticisms will momentarily trip up some readers, but overall it is a readable story with an amusing denouement. A good choice for readers ready to move on from Darren Shan's popular "Cirque du Freak" and "Demonata" series (both Little, Brown).-Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"The stuff of teenage dreams, here executed with pace and panache" -- Kate Agnew * Guardian * "This densely written novel is fast-paced with excellent, detailed descriptions of battle scenes that literally take the reader's breath away. It kept me spellbound on the edge of my seat" -- Davy Hall * Carousel * "He's clearly loving telling this story - there are some pleasing twists - and his energy creeps into the words on every page" -- Philip Ardagh * Guardian * "Imagine a literary world where Philip Pullman meets Darren Shan and you have some of the flavour of this ambitious novel" * Books for Keeps * "An exhilarating cross between The Matrix and Hellboy, this is an impressive debut. Battles with powerful magic, demonic possession and vomiting bats combine to produce and action-packed and entertaining adventure" -- Becky Stradwick * Publishing News *