Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Watcher in the Shadows by Chris Moriarty (illustrated by me) gets starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist!

Booklist, May 1, 2013

Moriarty, Chris (Author) , Geyer, Mark Edward. (Illustrator)

May 2013. 336 p. Harcourt, hardcover, $16.99. (9780547466323).

The second book in The Inquisitor’s Apprentice series picks up where the first left off. And where’s that? New York City—mostly the lower east side—at the turn of the last century. Ah, but this New York is overflowing with magic. Spells are cast, Kabbalists reign, and dybbuks roam. Thirteen-year-old Sacha lives in a tenement with his parents, his rabbi grandfather, a mage of some repute, and his sister Bekah, a seamstress at the Pentacle Shirtwaist Factory, owned by the treacherous J.P Morgaunt. Sacha may be only a young teen, but he’s apprenticed to Inspector Wolf of the Inquisitor’s Unit of the NYPD—those tasked with investigating magical crime. The rather convoluted plot involves the murder of the Klezmer King (fried in his electric tuxedo) and a strike the shirtwaist factory. Oh, and the dybbuk Sacha, set free last time out, reappears with dire consequences. But although this is full of story, what captivates is the world that Moriarity has created, one where magic is woven into the very fabric. That its many practitioners all have their own ways of casting spells is part of what makes these characters so memorable. But from crime lords to rebbes, they all have their own particular wisdom that deepens the nonstop action. A touch of Chabon, a hiss of steampunk, and a blast of originality.

— Ilene Cooper

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2013 [STARRED REVIEW!]
Author: Chris Moriarty
 Illustrator: Mark Edward Geyer

Review Issue Date: March 1, 2013
 Online Publish Date: February 6, 2013
 Pages: 336
 Price ( Hardcover ): $16.99
 Publication Date: May 28, 2013
 ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-547-46632-3
 Category: Fiction

The magic is darker in this intense sequel to The Inquisitor’s Apprentice (2011).

In a richly imagined alternate version of New York City at the turn of the 20th century, Sacha continues his on-the-job training in the police department’s Inquisitor division amid murder, abduction and terrifying encounters with evil beings both real and magical. J.P. Morgaunt mercilessly wields his magical power over newspapers, transportation, manufacturing and just about everything else, including  a soul-stealing machine with which he has loosed Sacha’s doppelganger, a dybbuk that is constantly growing stronger. An impending strike at the Pentacle Shirtwaist Factory is the catalyst for Morgaunt’s machinations, which encompass the workers’ union, the crime syndicate Magic, Inc., martial arts and Kabbalists. When Sacha’s family is drawn into this morass, he must make impossible choices between guarding their safety and working with Inspector Wolf, Lily and Peyton, all of whom have become dear to him. Moriarity again manages to capture the great distance between rich and poor, the struggle of immigrants to cope with bigotry and poverty, and the rapidly growing and changing world of the real New York City, while staying true to Sacha’s mystical city. Rich language, colorful syntax, vivid description and a brilliant cast of characters beckon readers right into both the adventure and the heartfelt emotional landscape.

Exciting, action-packed and absolutely marvelous. (Fantasy. 10 & up)