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Author: Frances Hardinge

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Publisher: Bowen Press, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ©2009

Material: hard cover

Summary: Hathin takes care of her sister, Arilou, who is a Lost - a person whose mind can leave their body. A Lost is an esteemed person in their world. When the sisters are drawn into an evil conspiracy, with Arilou as a target, Hathin must use all of her ability to save her tribe and her island. Who wants to see Arilou dead, and why? How can Hathin protect her sister? Who is truly on her side? This is a fantasy thriller for teens.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 10 and up; read yourself: 12 and up

Interest Level: 10 and up

Reading Level: 6.3

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: I honestly didn’t like this book. It was very long (568 pages) with a story so full of subplots, it was almost impossible to follow. The main character was strong, but there were so many other things going on, you lose track of what’s happened. I couldn’t maintain concentration because there was so much detail.

Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Pros: For readers who like lots of adventure and intricate plots, this is ideal. This book has a very strong, young female as the heroine.

Cons: This book was confusing and too wordy. There were too many characters to keep track of.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, first. This is a hefty book with LOTS of detail.


Educational Themes: I would not say that there was any education value to this book. It was hard enough to keep track of what was going on, much less to actually learn something. I think the author intended it to portray ancient tribes, but I didn’t feel it was historic.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, adventure, young adult

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2010

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