Cliff McNish, Author . Lerner/Carolrhoda $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-57505-825-2

McNish (the Doomspell Trilogy) once again explores the idea of children pulled from safety to fight an apocalyptic battle, and the result is this strange and intriguing launch title in the Silver Sequence. Several children are drawn to a sprawling dump called Coldharbour, and at the same time discover that their bodies are changing in unexplained ways: Milo suddenly becomes obsessed with eating everything in sight, Helen can read minds, and Thomas possesses the ability to "send his beauty" into others, both calming and strengthening them. In Coldharbour, Thomas and the others meet twin girls who have evolved into insects and also a 12-foot-tall gentle giant. Milo's transformation grows more dramatic as his skin changes to gold, then wears away to reveal luminous silver beneath. Meanwhile, all of the characters are haunted by "the roar" (it's "like the shriek of a creature that was starving"), a loud noise that only they can hear, and which seems to bring them together. Along with it, they can also hear "an enemy of the roar" ("a slow rhythm, like a massive wing beating against the sky"). McNish delivers arcane imagery and offers no explanations for either the children's exodus to Coldharbour or their metamorphoses until the ending (which raises additional questions as it sets up the battle against the roar for book two). Yet the images hang together in a tantalizing, avant-garde way. Readers will likely want to tune in for the next installment, Silver City . Ages 10-up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 01/01/2005
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-8225-6503-1
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-4440-0418-2
Hardcover - 167 pages - 978-1-84255-154-7
Ebook - 978-1-4677-7437-6
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