From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-It's been nine months, but Henry still can't remember the accident that killed his mother and left him covered in scars-or anything before that. With a sweltering summer starting, the teen has a lot of time on his hands, but he just can't piece together who he is or, more mysteriously, why he has no feeling in an increasing portion of his body or why his father spends so much time at his job at the morgue. As a hurricane approaches and a serial killer roams the island off the Georgia mainland, Henry and his neighbor Justine begin to unravel a tangle of lies and connected horrors. Salomon begins with an interesting premise, modernizing the Frankenstein story, but doesn't deliver. The first two thirds of the novel fail to build any tension despite the twin threats of an oncoming hurricane and an unidentified serial killer, which leaves the ending feeling rushed. The final reveal depends on a completely new character never mentioned before and allows things to be wrapped up too tidily, and the epilogue is completely preposterous, even in a story where the readers' belief has already been suspended. The dialogue never feels natural, and descriptions are often repetitive. This story is full of disparate elements stitched together in a final product that is unbelievable and unsustainable.-Gretchen Kolderup, New Canaan Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* It took 4,317 stitches to put 16-year-old Henry Franks back together again following the car crash that killed his mother. But some pieces are still missing. Suffering total amnesia, panic attacks, and a spreading numbness of his flesh (“parts of me are dying”), Henry is beset by dreams in which a little girl calls him “Daddy,” while his days are spent in loneliness—aside from the neighbor girl, Justine, who is not repelled by his spiderwebs of scars. With Justine’s help, Henry begins to uncover the truth of his identity. His mysterious father, who works at a hospital (or is it a morgue?), offers him little information, but each night leaves huge piles of fast food on the back porch as if feeding something in the woods. And what does that have to do with the local rash of murders via “blunt force trauma”? Salomon’s Frankenstein homage churns through its often confounding but highly unnerving plot like a slow nightmare—readers won’t be entirely sure they even want to know how it ends. The scenes are clipped, the dialogue spare, and the prose rewards meticulous reading, making this debut the thinking teen’s horror choice of the year. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus