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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Magical Monday Review: Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings

Sharp and sassy with plenty of witchy action.

Author: Sean Cummings
Title: Poltergeeks
Series: Sean Cummings' blog mentions a sequel - yay!
Genre: Urban Fantasy (YA)
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Published: 4 October 2012

Source: review copy received via Netgalley

Find it at Goodreads or Amazon UK

The blurb says...
15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection.

In fact, there’s a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie’s high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it’s a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won’t just lose her mother’s soul, she’ll lose her mother’s life.

My verdict: fab teen urban fantasy. Highly recommended.
I loved this book. Julie's narrative is so beautifully 'sarcastic teen', you can hear her eyes roll. She's smart and powerful and has a geeky male best friend with no supernatural powers - marvellous! There is other teen stuff going on - school, relationships, romance - but the supernatural quest and associated battles are the main point of the story. It's also cool to see the main character's family relationships be important to the plot, as the main quest is to save her mother, with whom she has a complicated - and therefore realistic - relationship.

Julie and Marcus are brilliant characters, very easy to get behind and cheer for, and that is a key strength of this book. Sean Cummings has created a convincing set of characters who operate in a way that has emotional realism, helping us to suspend disbelief for the fantasy plot they're embroiled in to work. The humour is another important factor in this book's success, coming both from implausible and humorous scenarios (hello, cat ejected via chimney in the first scene) and from Julie's snarky commentary on events.

The plot is tightly-constructed, making it complex and satisfying and yet easy to follow. There is clearly more to know about the world of witchcraft that Julie inhabits, but we are drip-fed enough info to make sense of this particular adventure and to wonder where the next instalment will take us.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this to YA fantasy and urban fantasy fans, particularly those who appreciate sarcastic heroines and geeky boy sidekicks.

1 comment:

  1. I'm hearing some really good things about the Strange Chemistry list! Must investigate. Great review :)

    ReplyDelete

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