Voya (USA) | 28 April 2010 | ???
Travel between dimensions and back in time with Cornelius, aka "Kernel" Fleck, the bald, eccentric youth whose only friend is his little, razor-toothed brother Art. Although Kernel has seen plenty of dark times, including the death of his little sister, Annabella, and a friendless existence at school, he is perhaps the only boy on Earth who has never seen physical darkness. Why? Kernel is plagued by mysterious, puzzle-shaped patches of pulsing light-his constant companions. When Kernel's parents take a mini-vacation and Art is kidnapped by a gruesome demon, Kernel finds himself catapulted into the Demon's universe on a mad search to rescue his brother. Fans of Lord Loss (Little, Brown, 2005/VOYA October 2005) will be thrilled to see a nose-ringed, purple-spiked-haired younger version of Uncle Dervish Grady, a punk-rocker with a mission to destroy evil, one of the "Disciples" of Beranabus, the great magician. And not to be outdone, Lord Loss makes a grisly appearance as Kernel's nemesis. It does not take long for Kernel and Dervish to become loyal friends and for Kernel to learn that the omnipresent lights are a magical tool with which to be reckoned. Although littered with putrid scenes that at times become repetitive and over-the-top even for this writer, the book skillfully addresses the themes of family loyalty and the devastation of betrayal without moralizing. With a twist ending that borders on tragic, Shan leaves plenty of room for another piece of Kernel's story -- a piece for which fans will search in order to complete the puzzle of the Demonata world.
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