cover image Journey


Joyce Carol Thomas. Scholastic, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-590-40627-7

This is a strained, disjointed mix of folktale, fantasy and horror from the award-winning author of Marked by Fire . From its opening scenewhere in mythic tones the conversations between a wise tarantula and infant Meggie Alexander are recordedto the closing scene of a spider's web triggering the lesson learned, this is supposed to be the classic search for inner and outer lives by an adolescent. In her inner world, Meggie has music and the faint recollection of a spider's wisdom; this has made her both the seeker and the object of the danger in her town. Young people are disappearing, and when one of Meggie's friends dies, she is determined to root out the evil and destroy it before it gets her. With a small band of friends Meggie courts the kidnappers and is captured; the purpose behind the kidnapping the reader has known all along. Unfortunately, the grafting of fantasy and mystery onto a standard horror plot simply does not work and the variations in point of view are often confusing. Ages 12-up. (October)