By Holly Black
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Isbn-10: 0689868227 | Isbn-13: 9780689868221 | Publish date: 31/05/2005
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When seventeen-year-old Valerie Russell runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system.
But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends. Impulsive Lolli talks of monsters in the subway tunnels they call home and shoots up a shimmery amber-colored powder that makes the shadows around her dance. Severe Luis claims he can make deals with creatures that no one else can see. And then there's Luis's brother, timid and sensitive Dave, who makes the mistake of letting Val tag along as he makes a delivery to a woman who turns out to have goat hooves instead of feet.
When a bewildered Val allows Lolli to talk her into tracking down the hidden lair of the creature for whom Luis and Dave have been dealing, Val finds herself bound into service by a troll named Ravus. He is as hideous as he is honorable. And as Val grows to know him, she finds herself torn between her affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.
Bestselling author Holly Black follows her breakout debut, Tithe, with a rich, harrowing, and compulsively readable parable of betrayal, abuse, friendship, and love.
FranzVonWC said on Aug 22, 2010, 18:51
*** This comment contains spoilers! ***
"None of them seemed to see Val or Dave. It was as if the two of them had become invisible, just part of the trash they were sorting through. It was the sort of thing that she'd heard about on television and in books. It was supposed to make you feel small, but she felt liberated. No one was looking at her or judging her based on whether her outfit matched or who her friends were. They didn't see her at all."
"Her fear melted away, replaced with power. Power that throbbed inside of her, giddy and eager, opening her up like a puzzle box to find all of her secret hurt and anger and confusion. Power that whispered to her in tongues of fury, with promises of triumph."
"People said that video games were bad because they made you numb to death, made you register entrails splattering across a screen as a sign of success. In that moment, Val thought that the real problem with games was that the player was suppossed to try everything. If there was a cave, you went in it. If there was a mysterious stranger, you talked to him. If there was a map, you followed it. But in games, you had a hundred million billion lives and Val only had this one."
"'I would remain nearer you for what time there is.'
'Gone in a faerie sigh,' She quoted.
Leather-clad fingers brushed over her short hair, rested on her cheek. 'I can hold my breath.'"
"For I shall learn from flower and leaf
That color every drop they hold,
To change the lifeless wine of grief
To living gold."
—Sara Teasdale, "Alchemy"
noodlecup said on Apr 28, 2010, 22:06
This was a good mix of the real and fantastical. I liked the way Val finds the strength in herself to help her new friends, both human and other. I also liked how Black interspersed faery folk among the buildings and parks of Manhattan and New Jersey. I look forward to reading the first book in the series, Tithe.
krin5292 said on Aug 04, 2008, 15:11