Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Sherrilyn Kenyon
For ages 14 and up
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Holter Graham
Macmillan Audio, 2010   ISBN: 978-1427209092

Fourteen-year-old Nick Gautier has to be tough to survive in his world. He is scholarship kid going to a school full of rich kids, many of whom think that he does not belong in their school. Most of the other students limit themselves to making snide and cruel remarks when he is around, but a few take pleasure in tormenting him, which is why he is always in trouble with the principal.

Nick’s mother works as an exotic dancer in a New Orleans club, and she barely manages to make enough to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. She works hard to provide for her son, and to give him what he needs so that he make something of himself. When boys at school insult his mother, Nick cannot let them get away with it, which is why he gets into fights.

Otherwise, Nick mostly manages to stay out of trouble, and then one day three of his more unsavory friends ask him if he would like to earn a little money. Nick is willing to go along with their plans until he finds out that the plan is to mug an innocent older couple. He cannot stand by and let something like that happen, which is how he ends up getting beaten up and shot. By his so-called ‘friends.’ At the last minute ,Nick is saved by a stranger who fights like a ninja and who then decides to take Nick under his wing. Not only does the man, Kyrian Hunter, pay for Nick’s hospital bill, but he also offers him a job.

Things are really starting to look up for Nick when all hell breaks loose. Members of the school football team start turning into living zombies, attacking and biting their classmates and anyone else they can get a hold of. Nick joins forces with Bubba and Mark, two decidedly strange people who have been insisting on the existence of zombies, vampires, and demons for years. It would appear that they were right. Such dark creatures do exist, and for some reason someone, or something, is using the living zombies as weapons to attack Nick and his allies.

As he tries to understand what is going on and to avoid being eaten by the zombies, Nick begins to realize that something much bigger than the current situation lies beneath the surface. Very ancient, dark, and frightening forces are at work, and for some reason he is stuck in the middle of it all.

This is the first book in an exciting new series that listeners who enjoy fantasy titles will find quite addictive. Descriptions of decidedly chilling events and frightening characters are mixed in with Nick’s humorous comments and observations, to give listeners an entertaining and exhilarating read.

Holter Graham perfectly captures Nick’s often smart-alecky and sarcastic teen voice, and he gives the voices of Nick’s enemies a chilly creepiness that suits the story to a T.