Magic Dark and Strange

Kelly Powell. S&S/McElderry, $18.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-5344-6608-1
Powell’s (Songs from the Deep) atmospheric and leisurely tale follows Catherine Daly, 17, who has spent two years on her own in the city of Invercarn, helping to support her family by working as a typesetter. In recent months, her duties have expanded to include what’s known as “the farewell service”: using blood magic—and sacrificing a small portion of her lifespan—to briefly raise the dead for final visits with loved ones. When her boss requests that she retrieve a buried timepiece said to bring the dead fully back to life, Catherine enlists the help of Guy Nolan, whose father owns a watch and clock repair store known for its sideline in time-oriented enchantment. Though the pair fail to discover the magical timepiece in the unmarked grave, they witness its occupant’s transformation from withered corpse to fully alive boy. As they work to uncover the mystery behind the former coffin-maker’s identity and his earlier fate, Catherine and Guy begin a gentle, decorous courtship, eventually progressing to a first-name basis. Despite its abundance of wonderfully creepy details, including midnight cemetery visits and a body snatcher, the story is strangely sedate, with a detail-heavy narration that quashes the plot’s urgency. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kristy Hunter, the Knight Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/10/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-5344-6609-8
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-5344-6610-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-7052-2401-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-7052-2400-7
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