Monday, September 14, 2009

Autism With a Sword

Nick loves his brother but finds most other people incomprehensible. In Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon's Lexicon, that seems the least of his troubles -- he defends himself from demons with his sword, his brother was crippled in a magicians attack (that killed their dad), two annoying kids from school show up and attract danger, his insane mother hates him.

"You get the magician," Alan whispered. "I'll take the demon."
"I'll get them both," Nick said roughly, and shoved Alan for emphasis.

The plot takes off with the two kids, who stay with Nick and his older brother Alan as they try to sort out the dangers menacing them. Alan is desperately lonely, and sweet, and loyal to his family. Nick is loyal to Alan, but utterly disconnected from everybody else. James, the boy in trouble, is timid and snarky and scared, while his sister Mae refuses to let the universe harm her brother, no matter how mad the dangers get.

I loved this book. The bond between the brothers hooked me from the start, and Nick's lack of empathy made him interesting and kept the book on edge -- I was never sure I was rooting for the good guys. The ending was spectacular, and I'm delighted to hear there will be a sequel. I don't want to say too much about it, because the ride means more if you don't see what's coming. A.

(The cover is awful; don't let that put you off.)

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