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Locked Inside [Mass Market Paperback]

Nancy Werlin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Marnie Skyedottir is totally addicted to the computer game Paliopolis, where in the guise of the Sorceress Llewellyne she competes avidly with the clever but pesky Elf to escape from labyrinths and dungeons and evade the blind Rubble-Eater. Paliopolis feels safe to Marnie--not like real life, where she is flunking out at her exclusive boarding school, her famous mother Skye is dead, and her guardian Max stubbornly refuses to let her have the millions she will inherit at 21.

Skye, a mysterious former gospel singer who came from nowhere to become the beloved founder of a near-religion, has taught her daughter to fear intimacy. When the Elf, who turns out to be a senior at a nearby school, manages to figure out who Marnie really is and where she lives, she recoils. But later, when a crazed chemistry teacher acts on her delusion that she, too, is Skye's daughter and imprisons Marnie in a cellar room, the Elf's concern for her brings him crashing into the situation in a bungled rescue attempt. Now, locked securely away in a windowless basement, they face a very different problem from the virtual dungeons of Paliopolis. There the Sorceress and the Elf had a cloak of invisibility, truth glasses, and a spellbook to help them outwit their enemy, but here they have only a blanket, a half-empty bottle of seltzer, and a sand bucket... and the Elf has a gunshot wound in his leg.

Nancy Werlin, winner of the Edgar Award for The Killer's Cousin, has here given her eager fans another fresh and engrossing thriller with psychological depth underlying its clever plot twists. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Less taut than Werlin's The Killer's Cousin, this novel nevertheless offers enough cliffhangers to keep readers hooked. Marnie hasn't been able to reach out to anyone since the death of her wealthy superstar mother, Skye ("an ex-gospel singer who'd started her own well, some said it was practically a religion"). Not knowing even her father's identity, her doings supervised by a guardian, Marnie alienates the other girls at her boarding school. Instead of studying, she immerses herself in an Internet strategy game and her one friend, the Elf, remains at a comfortable distance in cyberspace. But when Leah Slaight, a new teacher, kidnaps her in a misguided attempt to prove that she is also Skye's daughter, Marnie must depend on the skills she has learned in her game to save herself. Even beyond this unlikely premise, there is plenty to strain credibility, such as the Elf showing up single-handed to free Marnie (Leah captures him, too), and Marnie emerging a more together person after being locked in a basement for a week. For all the implausibility, the book is entertaining. Marnie's outsiderishness is of the kind that appeals to readers ("At least you match," she thinks, when she realizes the black eye Leah gave her is the same shade as her dress) and her personality is spirited enough to live up to the creative problem-solving Werlin assigns her. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-10-Marnie Skyedottir, 16, is a poor little rich girl whose mother was a famous singer/guru. Orphaned, disaffected, and uninspired, the teen turns to an online computer game seeking thrills. Marnie becomes besotted with the balance of danger and control she can exert with her virtual persona. Soon, life imitates art as she becomes caught up in real-world intrigue when a teacher at her private girls' school abducts her and holds her at gunpoint before turning the weapon on herself. Realizing that she is locked inside on many levels, Marnie takes a journey to freedom that entails opening each door, one at a time. One of these doors sequesters secrets of her mother's past. Though it's unfortunate that the author's introduction of abuse and violence here verge on sensationalism, the book still works well as a thriller. The pacing is fast and the story unfolds logically, enabling readers to keep track of all the strands in the plot. The author successfully explores the layers of the theme to build interest and suspense. Characters are consistently drawn. One of the most successful is that of the "Elf," Marnie's online gaming partner whose virtual appeal turns real when they become co-captives. He enables the blocked Marnie to leverage her locked-up emotions and abilities.
Lisa Denton, J. S. Russell JHS, Lawrenceville, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

From Werlin, a meaty tale of self-discovery, wrapped in encounters between two computer gamers and a dangerously unstable kidnapper. Poster child for passive-aggressive behavior, hyper-wealthy orphan Marnie has blown off her studies in favor of spending hours online as the sorceress Llewellyne, battling monsters and a sharp rival known as Elf in virtual Paliopolis. Closed-off and hostile since the death of her unwed mother, Skye (a gospel singer turned author of uplifting bestsellers), Marnie pays the price for her self-imposed isolation: Leah, a teacher from her exclusive private school, kidnaps her, imprisons her in a windowless cellar room, and tremulously informs herat gunpointthat they are secret half-sisters. Enter Elf, actually a shaved-head prep school senior named Frank, who dashes to the ``rescue'' just in time to bollix Marnie's escape, becomes another hostage, then sticks around afterward to teach her about friendship. Although the kidnapping, for all its high-pitched drama, adds a measure of suspense, this is more about Marnie's learning how to let her mother go, which she does, but not before Leah shoots herself, Frank exhibits some endearing vulnerability beneath a veneer of macho rebellion, and brutal revelations about Skye's past emerge. Leaving much between the lines, Werlin concocts a thriller for thoughtful readers. (Fiction. 12-15) -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"As she did in The Killer’s Cousin, Werlin offers a compelling thriller that will have readers turning pages." — Booklist

From the Back Cover

"As she did in The Killer’s Cousin, Werlin offers a compelling thriller that will have readers turning pages." — Booklist

About the Author

Nancy Werlin is the author of two previous young adult novels, including the award-winning The Killer's Cousin.

From the Hardcover edition.
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