Charnas's enthralling story is related by Valentine (Tina), a schoolgirl who lives a New York apartment house with her divorced mother. Tina's first intimation of looming dangers is an explosion at a subway stop and inexplicable disappearances of awesome proportions. The enormous statue of the warrior Jagiello astride his steed vanishes from Central Park, for example, along with things from Tina's home. An encounter with an old man, Paavo, reminds the girl of her grandmother's tales of the Norwegian Kraken, the monster that Paavo says is thrusting up from underground to devour the world. Later meetings with the old man involve Tina with Joel, a teenager mesmerized by the music Paavo plays on the violin. It isn't, as he pretends, the fiddling of an amateur for coins, but the performance of a gifted maestro. Its magic conquers, momentarily, the punks who obey the kraken's orders, posing as muggers on the subway and the dark streets. Tina escapes their clutches only to learn that the monster has grabbed Joel. Blind and paralyzed, he's below the tracks where only Tina can find and save him. The tensions and startling switches in developments, as well as the author's realistic evocations of metropolitan life, result in an unforgettable novel. (10up)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1985 Release date: 10/01/1985 Genre: Children's
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