cover image The Deavys

The Deavys

Alan Dean Foster. Open Road, $15.99 trade paper (348p) ISBN 978-1-5040-1589-9

In this charming adventure, four siblings tackle the magical menaces of New York City in order to retrieve a stolen artifact. Sixteen-year-old Simwan Deavy; his 12-year-old sisters, Amber, Rose, and N/Ice (sometimes she’s ice, sometimes she’s nice); and their ever-present talking cat Pithfwid set out on an epic quest after the rat king known as the Crub steals a bottle housing the Truth from its hiding place in their Pennsylvania hometown. As they attempt to get the bottle back, they use their wits and spells to survive deadly traps, ravenous ogres, and other hazards of the big city. Foster (the Pip and Flinx series) creates a Potteresque world of hidden magic, where secret streets harbor mythical creatures, and the “non-Ordinary” community traffics in curious cuisine (such as roast jackalope sandwiches). There’s an element of wordplay and punnery as well—a dragon is accused of being “the wyrm in the Big Apple”—which dances between whimsical and groan-inducing. Still, it’s an imaginative romp through an entertaining world. Ages 9–up. Agent: Vaughne Lee Hansen, Virginia Kidd Literary Agency. (Feb.)