Another Faust

Daniel Nayeri, Author, Dina Nayeri, Author . Candlewick $16.99 (387p) ISBN 978-0-7636-3707-1

In this sibling duo's debut, an unusual urban fantasy, five 10-year-olds—overachieving Victoria, homeless writer Christian, twins Bicé and Belle, and fame-hungry poet Valentin—disappear from their homes and are adopted by the beautiful, mysterious Madame Vileroy. Their families forget them, and they emerge in New York City five years later as the rich Faust siblings, joining the exclusive Marlowe School midyear. Each of the teens has been given a unique power (stopping time, mind-reading, bewitching beauty), though not all of them know the real cost. The novel's pace can be languid, though it picks up once the school year starts and the Fausts learn about the nature of evil and who Vileroy really is. The writing is clever and stylish (“Bicé left a trail of moments like this, when people came away from her feeling better somehow—the kind of moments that were the very opposite of all those little evils that Madame Vileroy left in her wake”) and the dips in and out of reality almost conceal the characters' superficiality. It's an absorbing, imaginative read, with a tense climax. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 08/03/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
Genre: Children's
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