Fantasy/SF Book Reviews

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The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Pocket Books, Oct., 1999.
Paperback, 264 pages .
ISBN: 0671042858.
Ordering information:

Cover of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
by Stephen King Nine year-old Trisha McFarland is on a leisurely hiking trip with her Mom and brother on the Appalachian Trail. As usual, Trisha's mother and brother are quarreling, which has been common since the divorce. While they are bickering, Trisha calls ahead to let them know she needs to go to the bathroom and then steps into the woods behind a tree where she can go in privacy. Her mother and brother are too busy arguing to hear her announcement, and when she has finished she decides it would be easier to cut across the forest to catch up with them -- a huge mistake. Her choice leads her deeper into the woods and soon she is completely lost, but she trudges onward hoping a stream she finds will lead her to civilization. However, as night begins to fall and she begins to sense something evil and non-human in the woods is following her, she begins to wonder if she will ever get to see her family again.

Stephen King is at his best in this short, but splendid novel. King shows how quickly a small misstep can lead a little girl into danger. As King states in his opening, "The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted." You will find yourself rooting for the determined Trisha to find her way out of the dark, dangerous woods. King turns mosquitoes, minges, noseeums, wasps and other pests, which are ordinary nuisances in the city, into dangerous pests in the forest. Readers will be spellbound as they hear the clever, yet frightened thoughts of young Trisha battling the Maine-New Hampshire wilderness and the unknown, with only her Walkman and a broadcast Red Sox baseball game for company. An exciting novel, with just the right mix of chills and suspense. Highly recommended.

The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries by Pierre Dubois, Illustrated by Claudine and Roland Sabatiert

Simon and Schuster, April, 2000.
Hardcover, 183 pages.
ISBN: 0684869578.
Ordering information:

Cover of The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries
by Pierre Dubois, Illustrated by Claudine and Roland Sabatiert Nymphs, Dryads, Selkies, Red Ladies, Valkyries: they are all names of faeries which have existed for eons. The faeries watch over newborns, guard the forests, animals and children, and sometimes cause big trouble for the unwary. The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries is a massive resource for the faery lover. Dozens of faeries are listed, with detailed information about their appearance, food preferences, location, apparel and activities. Each listing is also beautifully illustrated by Claudine and Roland Sabatier. The book is full of fascinating lore of faeries from around the world, weaving in the familiar stories from myth, legend and faery tales with the more unfamiliar stories, such as those of the Naga (mentioned in Sanskrit, they look like dragons or serpents with a human face) and the Streghes (they drink blood and disappear at dawn, somewhat like vampires). This is a charming and magical reference work which is sure to delight any fantasy lover.

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