Continuing our series of seasonal posts - a children's thriller set in the Dead Days between Christmas and New Year -
review by Maryom
During the Dead Days between Christmas and New Year doors open between our everyday world and the supernatural one that goes unnoticed for the rest of the year. Something is coming from this other world in search of the great stage magician Valerian. Many years ago he made a pact to get what he wanted - and now it's time to pay up! He believes there is a book that will tell him how to avoid his debt - if only he can find it, accompanied by his assistant unnamed street orphan Boy he sets off on a hunt round the frost bound streets and alleys and graveyards of the City.
The Book of Dead Days is an exciting race-against-time adventure set in a sprawling unnamed city somewhere vaguely in Europe and somewhat vaguely located in time. It's a place where magic combines with and contrasts against science; a place of dark alleyways, magnificent domed houses and ghostly catacombs - particularly scary if, like me, you've the slightest fear of confined underground spaces.
A rather younger read than some Marcus Sedgwick novels but still an enthralling read full of atmosphere and threat.
Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Orion
Genre - children's, fantasy, thriller