Hodder has crafted a loving homage to the 19th-century novel with the barest tweaks for a 21st-century sensibility, perfectly capturing the device of the narrator’s diary (with hand-off to present-day editor), natural-philosophy preoccupations, and the struggle between divine and scientific views of creation. Hunchback Clarissa Stark and tormented minister Aiden Fleischer escape scandal by becoming missionaries, only to be assigned to an island of suspected cannibals. Aiden learns the real reason for inhabitants’ disappearance when he’s offered as a sacrifice and the ritual transports him to another planet, with Clarissa in tow. This fascinating adventure takes a turn for the terrifying when the long-awaited setting of the planet’s twin suns brings events that threaten the whole of Earth. The pacing is as vintage as the vividly imagined grotesqueries of alien life, but the rewards for acclimating to the style are well worth the effort. Agent: Eddie Schneider, JABberwocky Literary Agency. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2012 Release date: 12/01/2012 Genre: Fiction
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