Reviews for Wrath of the Bloodeye
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
The Spook sends Thomas off to work for dour and unpredictable Bill Arkwright. There, Thomas prepares to confront the Bloodeye, a terrifying water witch. In his fifth book, Tom's character and skills continue to develop in satisfying ways. As usual, the eerie setting is conveyed through Delaney's spare descriptions and Arrasmith's darkly evocative illustrations. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
VOYA Reviews 2008 December
In this fifth volume of Delaney's popular series, Tom Ward is sent to train with one of his master's former apprentices, now a spook in the county's watery north. Arkwright, burdened with a family tragedy, drinks heavily but has much to teach if only Tom can survive long enough to learn. Adding water witches and skelts to his creepy creature collection, Delaney picks up where the previous novel ended, once again pitting Tom against things he may not be ready to face. Arkwright is a convincingly troubled man, flawed and violent but ultimately redeemed. There continues to be something unsettling about the roles that female characters play in the series, however. In this volume, the only women readers meet are in the form of witches or monsters-a strong, independent woman labeled "daft" by her neighbors, a selkie chased back to sea after the other wives' jealousy brings Arkwright to sort her out, and the ghost of Arkwright's mother whose suicide after the accidental death of her husband has bound her to this earth. These women are memorable characters-perhaps none more so than young Alice, whose connection to the devil himself is revealed-and yet stacked solidly on the dark side of Delaney's world of good and evil. How the author develops the story surrounding Alice will more than likely reveal what this gender divide means, but fans of the series will be eager to read the next installment no matter how it plays out.-Vikki Terrile2Q 2P Dunnion, Kristyn. Big Big Sky. Red Deer Press/Carolyn Deardon, 2008. 348p. $14.95 Trade pb. ISBN 978-0-88995-404-5. 2Q 2P S This futuristic novel follows a group of five highly trained, programmed female warriors, called a StarPod, who are controlled by ScanMans. Although they are trained to be a tight-knit group, the story opens as Rustle, Loo, Roku, Shona, and Solomon are beginning to doubt one another. When the Pod is summoned to the Living Lab, they realize that they must try to escape or find themselves deplugged-dead. Loo finds herself changing, mutating unexpectedly, as do the other Pod members. Meanwhile survival is a struggle outside the mountain where the Pod was raised and programmed. Amid the violence and chaos, Loo gives birth to her and Rustle's podling just before she dies. Although dystopian novels can be fascinating, this one falls flat. The clearest notion of where and when the story is set and what is supposed to be going on comes from the blurb on the back of the book. Like much in the dystopian genre, the story is very dark but leaves a glimmer of hope at the end with the podling's birth. Violence and subject matter as well as the Pod's own private linguistic patterns mark this novel for high school readers who want something in the speculative fiction genre that looks at militaristic programming of humanoids, and the power of survival instinct. Overall the book moves at an awkward pace, enhanced by the shifting perspectives among the principle players in the story, none of whom are terribly engaging. This book will find limited readership.-Mary Ann Darby PLB $18.89. ISBN 978-0-06-134460-2. 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.