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While camping on an island near Vancouver, Michael, his father, and a friend discover that local myths about Icelandic spirits, strange sacrifices, and a sea serpent might be true.
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Grade 5-8-All of the elements of a good horror story are here: cliff-hanger chapter endings, a brave but flawed hero, a feisty female companion, dire warnings, suspicious characters, and red herrings. As the novel begins, 15-year-old Michael and his father are being ferried to an island off the coast of British Columbia. As they near their destination, the ferryman, an odd and gloomy man, tells them that only one of them will return with him, alluding to an ancient Norse myth to explain the impending troubles. That night, Michael meets Fiona, a girl his own age, who has come to the island alone. The next day, the two begin exploring the area. In the course of their adventures, they come upon ghosts, spirits, sea serpents, and other mystical creatures, and find themselves in a fight for their lives. When the narrative focuses on the plot, it's engaging. Occasionally, however, the story becomes bogged down in references to and recountings of Norse tales. Many of the characters are one-dimensional, meant only to advance the plot. Personal issues are hinted at but rarely explored. On balance, the protagonists are appealing, the writing is skilled, and the mythology is intriguing enough to encourage readers to explore the original tales. The scare's the thing here, and this book doesn't disappoint.
Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5^-7. An undead sorcerer summons creatures from Icelandic mythology to an island off the coast of modern British Columbia, in this hair-raising sequel to Draugr (1998). Fourteen-year-old Michael travels from Missouri to B.C. with his father, who is finishing a book. The action begins before they reach inhospitable Drang Island--in the midst of a sudden wild storm, their eerie ferryman announces that he'll be carrying only one of them back to the mainland--and it picks up rapidly thereafter. A climactic struggle with the partially decomposed Bolverk, last remnant of an ancient band of Icelandic exiles, ends with the timely arrival of a sea monster identified as the Icelandic world-snake, Jormungand. While uncovering the island's grim history, Michael and Fiona, an acid-tongued new acquaintance, find cryptic messages written in blood on their tents; fend off wolves, snakes, and malicious sprites; and save each other's lives before seeing Bolverk carried off by the monster. The eldritch cast, relentless pace, and occasional gruesome touch create a familiar recipe for Fear Street fans, with a generous dollop of Icelandic lore for flavor. John Peters
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Book Description Orca Book Publishers, 1998. Condition: New. Ljuba Levstek (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M1551431114