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4.0 out of 5 stars Eerie, But Fun to Read,
This review is from: Malice (Hardcover)This book is a lot of fun to read. There's non-stop action inside this attractive looking book. It's part novel/part graphic novel and I think YA fantasy readers can appreciate this combination which works extremely well for this book/series in particular.
Since almost anything can happen, this story has you on the edge of your seat pretty much the whole time. The narrative is great and the characters are pretty well written. There are nice transitions between the real world and that of Malice. I like how the characters are adventurous; it keeps the story exciting.
The graphic novel parts of the book really complement the story. They're refreshing. They give an idea of what the author had in mind. The illustrations are stunning. Because of the format of this book, I think it may attract many readers, especially those who are perhaps a little reluctant to read.
Malice is a dark but fascinating world. There's still lots to learn about the characters and how Malice works and so I'm looking forward to the sequel, Havoc. There's still lots to explore, so I have a feeling there will be more after Havoc, at least that's what I'm hoping for.
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too,
This review is from: Malice (Paperback)Gold Star Award Winner!
A comic book exists that no parent knows about. It's fame and location of sale are only known by rumor. After you read it, the words fade within a few days.
If you read the chant it holds inside six times with the right objects, Tall Jake will come to get you and suck you into his dangerous world.
A world filled with life-drinking robots and things far worse. If you're lucky enough to survive and get a white ticket, you can return home, but there's no guarantee that you'll even remember your home when you get back.
Will you be one of the lucky ones to make it home alive?
An entertaining horror/adventure story for reluctant readers. The characters are well-developed and the bad guys are wonderfully creepy. The plot moves quickly and holds the reader's interest. Those who like comic books, video games, horror, and adventure will truly enjoy reading MALICE.
Reviewed by: Kira M
4.0 out of 5 stars Tall Jake, take me away,
This review is from: Malice (Paperback)Collect the ritual items, burn them, and say "Tall Jake, take me away." And he will, as soon as you're alone -- into a bizarre world known as Malice.
Everybody loves to scare themselves silly with urban legends like this, but Chris Wooding explores what would happen if one of them were true... and it was part of a malevolent, world-spanning conspiracy by strange, horrific creatures. While the comic book pages are a bit gimmicky, the rest of the book shines like a dark gem -- vivid prose, realistic teenage characters, and the beginnings of a truly epic story.
When his buddy Luke vanishes without a trace, Seth is told that he performed the Malice ritual -- and he's shocked to see that in the latest issue of the comic book Malice, Luke is being killed by monsters. With the help of his friend Kady, Seth begins investigating the shop where Luke got the comic, as well as a boy who vanished in a similar manner a few years ago. And finally, Seth takes the ultimate step: he performs the ritual himself, and is whisked away by Tall Jake.
Unfortunately, Malice isn't quite the thrillride he hoped it would be -- it's a seedy, horrendous place, with deadly mechanical monsters, carnivorous beasts in a dank dungeon, and a gang of teenage rebels called Havoc. And as Kady tries to figure out a way to help her friend, she discovers some terrible secrets that had been buried in her memory... and a trio of malevolent enemies who are spreading Malice throughout England.
The special gimmick of "Malice" is that since it's about an evil magical comic book, some of the pages are.... well, they're pages from the Malice comic book. It doesn't work well, since it just abruptly chops up the narrative at periodic intervals... but fortunately, it's the only part of the book that doesn't work.
The rest of "Malice" is a haunting, grotesquely eerie ride in the tradition of Neil Gaiman -- Wooding slowly builds up tension with the investigation into Tall Jake and Malice, until it's almost a relief when Seth goes there. After that, he keeps things exciting with lots of steampunky monsters (mechanical mosquitos that suck "time" from their victims), taut evasions of the weird Malice creatures, and Kady's encounters with the inhuman, malevolent creatures that run the comic book store.
He's also got a brilliantly dark, vivid writing style with globs of pure horror (such as the skittering "crab" noises that precede Tall Jake's arrival), and his plot is crammed with things that seem insignificant at first, but turn out to be quite important later on (such as that weird cat). And he sets the stage for a truly epic clash with Tall Jake and his allies -- as well as other, more powerful creatures that may be on the same side as the kids.
Seth is a bit of a whiner at first, especially since he ends up going to Malice because he craves the ultimate thrill -- but once he finds out how nasty it is, he becomes a more likable and unselfish character. Kady is actually the more interesting of the two, since she seems like just another female sidekick at first... but it soon becomes clear that she has allies and enemies she doesn't recognize, and a past link to Malice that may hold the key to saving her friend.
Unfortunately "Malice" ends on a oh-no-I-can't-wait-until-he-writes-the-next-one cliffhanger, because the eerie down-to-earth prose and taut plot leave you craving whatever comes next. And "Havoc" can't turn up soon enough for me.
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MALICE by CHRIS WOODING (Paperback - 2009)
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