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Laughing Wolf [Paperback]

Nicholas Maes

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Book Description

June 22 2009 A Felix Taylor Adventure (Book 1)

Short-listed for the 2010 Saskatchewan Young Reader's Choice Award - Snow Willow and for the 2010 Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award

It is the year 2213. Fifteen-year-old Felix Taylor is the last person on Earth who can speak and read Latin. In a world where technology has defeated war, crime, poverty, and famine, and time travel exists as a distinct possibility, Felix's language skills and knowledge seem out of place and irrelevant.

But are they?

A mysterious plague has broken out. Scientists can't stop its advance, and humanity is suddenly poised on the brink of eradication. The only possible cure is Lupus Ridens, or Laughing Wolf, a flower once common in ancient Rome but extinct for more than 2,000 years.

Felix must project back to Roman times circa 71 B.C. and retrieve the flower. But can he navigate through the dangers and challenges of the world of Spartacus, Pompey, and Cicero? And will he find the Laughing Wolf in time to save his family and everyone else from the Plague of Plagues?


Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn (June 22 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554883857
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554883851
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13 x 18 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #579,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Quill & Quire

There are few themes quite so overused and abused in speculative fiction as time travel. It’s such a well-tilled field that few writers can produce a time-travel novel that doesn’t induce eye-rolls or a sense of “been there, done that.” University of Waterloo classics professor Nicholas Maes is apparently one of those rare few who can pull off the time-travel trick. His new novel for young readers, Laughing Wolf, is strikingly original, with a convincing command of both future world-building and historical recreation. The novel begins in 2213. Fifteen-year-old Felix Taylor, whose father runs the Earth’s only book repository, lives in a world free of war, poverty, and crime, a world where people matter-of-factly undergo Emotion Range Reduction procedures to blunt the primal reactions that lead to conflict. As the novel opens, however, this seeming paradise is struck by a mysterious plague that threatens to destroy the human race. It is discovered that this epidemic is related to a historical plague that was cured by Laughing Wolf, a flower that flourished in ancient Rome. The flower, however, has been extinct for hundreds of years. As the last healthy person on Earth capable of reading and speaking Latin, Felix is sent back to 71 BC to recover samples of the flower in the hopes of saving humanity. In his quest, he encounters historical personnages including Pompey and Cicero and meets with Spartacus on the night before his final stand against Rome. He also finds himself – repeatedly – in mortal peril. Laughing Wolf is a page-turner rooted in careful history, vivid imaginings, and strongly formed characters. It raises many discussion-worthy questions on the nature of history and liberty, on emotion versus intellect,  and on the role of the state and of the individual. It’s an impressive work that, though intended for kids, can be enjoyed by readers of just about any age.

Review

It is the year 2213. Fifteen-year-old Felix Taylor is the last person on Earth who can speak and read Latin. In a world where technology has defeated war, crime, poverty, and famine, and time travel exists as a distinct possibility, Felix's language skills and knowledge seem out of place and irrelevant.

But are they?

A mysterious plague has broken out. Scientists can't stop its advance, and humanity is suddenly poised on the brink of eradication. The only possible cure is Lupus Ridens, or Laughing Wolf, a flower once common in ancient Rome but extinct for more than 2,000 years.

Felix must project back to Roman times circa 71 B.C. and retrieve the flower. But can he navigate through the dangers and challenges of the world of Spartacus, Pompey, and Cicero? And will he find the Laughing Wolf in time to save his family and everyone else from the Plague of Plagues?



Nicholas Maes is apparently one of those rare few who can pull off the time-travel trick. His new novel for young readers Laughing Wolf, is a strikingly original, with a convincing command of both future world-building and historical recreation ... Laughing Wolf is a page-turner rooted in careful history, vivid imaginings, and strongly formed characters. It raises many discussion-worthy questions on the nature of history and liberty, on emotion versus intellect, and on the role of the state and of the individual. It's an impressive work that , though intended for kids, can be enjoyed by readers of just about any age.

(Robert J. Wiersema Quill & Quire)

a lovely read .., an enticing and enjoyable book for younger readers.

(Telegram, The)

... a popular read for most middle school and junior high school students.

(VOYA)

Maes is at his best when describing Roman culture, and Felix's interactions with these great historical figures are fun. (School Library Journal)

What Maes does extremely well is to challenge his readers to consider the roles that history and religion play in our lives, and to understand how vital emotion and memory actually is. Whether you’re a history buff or a sci-fi fan, these novels are entertaining and thought-provoking, and well-worth offering to tween readers. (Readingtimbits.ca 2013-05-10)

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