A Little Bit Dead

Chap Reaver, Author
Chap Reaver, Author Delacorte Press $15 (230p) ISBN 978-0-385-30801-4
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 230 pages - 978-0-440-21910-1
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-0-7862-0139-6
Prebound-Sewn - 230 pages - 978-0-606-06534-4
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Set in 1876, this fast-paced western adventure opens when 17-year-old Reece comes upon three government agents preparing to lynch an Indian in the wilderness. Raised with a strong sense of propriety, the boy stops the lynching and rescues the Indian, whose name is Shanti. This act of kindness sets Reece and Shanti on a trail of intrigue, revenge and murder that reaches its harrowing climax in a shoot-out at a hidden gold mine. Finally, Reece and Shanti are forced to grow up and to decide what course their lives will take. Reaver has fashioned a complex, tightly woven tale that moves through scene after gripping scene with sure-footed grace, stumbling only slightly in the heart-wrenching coda (set 30 years after the main action). Reece's naturalistic, first-person narrative voice is utterly persuasive and makes him a likeable hero with whom readers will easily identify. Following the success of his Edgar Award-winning first novel, Mote , Reaver moves into the vanguard of YA authors with this consummately drawn yarn. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
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