New Middle Grade Fiction: The Thickety – J. A. White

There are two starred reviews for this and lots of bookseller love–but my favorite review comes from Boulder Book Store buyer Liesl Freudenstein’s daughter, Lola:

Have you ever heard the saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover”?  I know I sound like an old lady, but that expression has never been more true.  The Thickety’s cover does not do it justice, I’m not saying the cover is bad, but the book is great!  It is about a book, and witches, and demons and other creepy stuff.  Before you decide not to read the book, there is also happy stuff and sad stuff and exciting stuff and all of the other necessary  elements of a great book.  So if you have finished reading this review, it’s time for you to get the book…..AND READ IT!!!!!”

More sober analysis below. 🙂

“A dark forbidden forest, a powerful book, and an ancient deeply-rooted fear of witchcraft set the stage for J.A. White’s incredible debut. Shunned by fellow villagers because of her mother’s witchcraft conviction, Kara Westfall and her family struggle in every way imaginable. One day, Kara enters Sordyr’s Realm, the Thickety, from which no one has ever emerged unchanged. In the Thickety, Kara encounters the forest demon Sordyr himself and discovers a powerful book with incredible, yet dangerous powers that she believes belonged to her mother. Kara finds herself tempted by the power the book delivers, whether good or evil… what follows is an amazing start to a great new series what will leave you thirsting for more.”
— Bess Bleyaert, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

In this darkly imaginative debut, White creates a fantasy world with creatures that are anything but sweet-a cyclopean bird, a multi-mouthed horror-and, after a deceptively satisfying resolution, he unfurls a twist that will make readers want the next chapter of Kara’s story immediately. White’s prose is evocative without being dense, and Offermann’s sharp-edged silhouettes add an ominous note. Absolutely thrilling.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The spellbinding story, lashings of suspense and stalwart heroine will draw in fantasy fans and keep them reading until the bitter ending.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Thickety: A Path Begins (9780062257246) by J.A. White and Andrea Offermann. $16.99 hardcover. 5/6/14 on sale.

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