The Lighthouse Land

Adrian McKinty, Author . Abrams/Amulet $16.95 (387p) ISBN 978-0-8109-5480-9

McKinty, previously known for adult crime novels, brings an attuned ear for dialogue and a taut pacing to his first YA outing, the launch title in the Lighthouse Trilogy. Thirteen-year-old Jamie O'Neill lost his arm in cancer surgery a year ago, and has not spoken a word since. During that time, his father also left the family to marry again and settle in Seattle. Jamie's life of near-poverty with his single mother changes dramatically with the arrival of a letter, informing his mother that she has inherited a lighthouse estate in Ireland, and the 10-acre island on which it rests. By the second chapter, Jamie and his mother are living in their new home, and have learned that Jamie will become a laird (or lord) on his 18th birthday. In a hidden chamber within the lighthouse, Jamie discovers a strange device that teleports him and his new friend Ramsay to Aldan, a city "ninety-six light-years" away. There a girl named Wishaway informs him he is the prophesied savior come to rescue her people from the invading iceships of Alkhava. But the attack is already underway, and the residents of Aldan are taken captive to be sold as slaves. Jamie leads a resourceful counterattack, and while the action will keep the pages turning, it is the dialogue between Jamie and Ramsay, replete with pop-culture references, that makes this such an enjoyable trip. An intelligent, open-ended mythology allows for additions to the series, but this volume solidly stands on its own. Ages 11-15. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/16/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4178-1816-7
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4417-7153-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-7150-6
Paperback - 387 pages - 978-0-8109-9361-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4417-7154-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4417-7151-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4417-7148-3
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