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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: exlibrary hardcover book in good shape, mylar library jacket with usual library marks and stamps. shows some reader wear
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Locked Inside Hardcover – February 8, 2000

23 customer reviews

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Hardcover, February 8, 2000
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Editorial Reviews Review

Sixteen-year-old Marnie Skyedottir is totally addicted to the computer game Paliopolis, where in the guise of the Sorceress Llewellyne she competes avidly with the clever but pesky Elf to escape from labyrinths and dungeons and evade the blind Rubble-Eater. Paliopolis feels safe to Marnie--not like real life, where she is flunking out at her exclusive boarding school, her famous mother Skye is dead, and her guardian Max stubbornly refuses to let her have the millions she will inherit at 21.

Skye, a mysterious former gospel singer who came from nowhere to become the beloved founder of a near-religion, has taught her daughter to fear intimacy. When the Elf, who turns out to be a senior at a nearby school, manages to figure out who Marnie really is and where she lives, she recoils. But later, when a crazed chemistry teacher acts on her delusion that she, too, is Skye's daughter and imprisons Marnie in a cellar room, the Elf's concern for her brings him crashing into the situation in a bungled rescue attempt. Now, locked securely away in a windowless basement, they face a very different problem from the virtual dungeons of Paliopolis. There the Sorceress and the Elf had a cloak of invisibility, truth glasses, and a spellbook to help them outwit their enemy, but here they have only a blanket, a half-empty bottle of seltzer, and a sand bucket... and the Elf has a gunshot wound in his leg.

Nancy Werlin, winner of the Edgar Award for The Killer's Cousin, has here given her eager fans another fresh and engrossing thriller with psychological depth underlying its clever plot twists. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell

From Publishers Weekly

Less taut than Werlin's The Killer's Cousin, this novel nevertheless offers enough cliffhangers to keep readers hooked. Marnie hasn't been able to reach out to anyone since the death of her wealthy superstar mother, Skye ("an ex-gospel singer who'd started her own well, some said it was practically a religion"). Not knowing even her father's identity, her doings supervised by a guardian, Marnie alienates the other girls at her boarding school. Instead of studying, she immerses herself in an Internet strategy game and her one friend, the Elf, remains at a comfortable distance in cyberspace. But when Leah Slaight, a new teacher, kidnaps her in a misguided attempt to prove that she is also Skye's daughter, Marnie must depend on the skills she has learned in her game to save herself. Even beyond this unlikely premise, there is plenty to strain credibility, such as the Elf showing up single-handed to free Marnie (Leah captures him, too), and Marnie emerging a more together person after being locked in a basement for a week. For all the implausibility, the book is entertaining. Marnie's outsiderishness is of the kind that appeals to readers ("At least you match," she thinks, when she realizes the black eye Leah gave her is the same shade as her dress) and her personality is spirited enough to live up to the creative problem-solving Werlin assigns her. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 550L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (February 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385327005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385327008
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,170,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nancy Werlin has written 9 young adult novels, including New York Times-bestselling fantasy (Impossible), Edgar-award winning suspense (The Killer's Cousin), and National Book Award-honored realistic fiction (The Rules of Survival). Her newest book is Unthinkable, a companion novel to the fantasies Impossible and Extraordinary. Nancy grew up in Peabody, Massachusetts, received her bachelor's degree in English from Yale, and now lives with her husband near Boston.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Locked Inside is a companion of sorts to Nancy Werlin's The Killer's Cousin, which I liked better, at least initially. Locked Inside is the story of Marnie Skyedottir, a wealthy sixteen-year-old orphan at a private school in northern Massachusetts. Her singer/songwriter/author mother died five years ago, leaving her in the guardianship of Max and the care of boarding schools. When Marnie is kidnapped, she has to confront the influence her mother left on her life.
Marnie is hard to warm up to at first, and not because she's unlikable; readers will identify with her stubbornness and the way she hates adults prying into her life. I assumed that Nancy Werlin didn't want readers getting close to Marnie, because Marnie doesn't really let anyone get close to her. It was a good device on Werlin's part, but it makes the book hard to get into.
There are also several lengthy descriptions of Paliopolis, the online role-playing game that Marnie is involved with. Werlin does a pretty good job of relationg these to what's going on with Marnie, but they're a little hard to get into and identify with if you're not a gamer.
The book cover is misleading because it gives the impression that Marnie does all her contemplation while she's kidnapped. I thought the book was going to be set mostly during the time she was "locked inside," but the major revelations about her mother come after she's been set free. It's fine, but it's not what I expected.
Frank Delgado, the sole friend of David Yaffe from The Killer's Cousin, makes an appearance in Locked Inside as the "Elf," one of Marnie's fellow gamers on Paliopolis, who comes to her rescue in real life when she's kidnapped. Honestly, realizing that the Elf was Frank was the highlight of the read for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jane on November 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Locked Inside is about a sixteen year old girl name Marnie. Her mother had died 5 years ago and her guardian is a man name Max. Marnie goes to this boarding school, she isn't studying as hard as she should be and ends up not doing well in school. She spends most of her time playing this game online with is guy identified as Elf. After her mother's death, Marnie hasn't really want anyone to get close to her, bascially like disconnecting herself from the world. She soons get kidnap by her teacher name Ms. Slaight where she also meets the guy name Elf in person. I don't want to disappoint anyone by telling the ending so read it to find out. This is an excellent book and I recommend people from ages 12 and up. I really like this book because the author is telling everyone a very important message. I can't wait to read The Killer's Cousin. I have read a lot reviews saying that it is an outstanding book even better than this one. Anyways this is a really REALLY superb book and I hope you read it, you won't be disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Teacher Who Loves Books on February 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put LOCKED INSIDE down! It's a great combination of suspense, romance and a mystery, too. If you liked THE KILLER's COUSIN, you're in for a treat. This one is even better!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ashley on February 23, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought that Locked Inside by Nancy Werlin was a overall good book. I found that it kept my attention good. I do have to say that it is at sometimes a little boring. In the beginning they spend most the time describing Marnie, who is the main character, I think that this helps to a point but they got a little carried away when they started to go into describing the computer game, and all of Marnie's bad habits. Then in the middle of the book it was really interesting and that kept me wanting to read more, but then again at the end they got into describing to much. I think I would probally recommened this to someone depending on their reading levels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Marnie Skyedottir (it's ironically funny when you sound it out, which was Ms. Werlin's intent) has problems. Problems fitting in, problems at her prim and proper school, problems with her mother's death, problems with crazy people who lock other people in basements. And as if it's not enough, she's saddled with helping the gunshot-wounded Elf, an online comrade who came looking for her after her disappearance. Despite the fact that it's mainly a "thriller", this book is also about Marnie's self-discovery and acceptance of who she is and where she comes from; which is always present in the book, but isn't forced, thanks to the capability of the writer.
This book has a lot of good points. It was an interesting read, and I had to keep myself from skipping ahead to see what happened to Marnie and Elf-boy, repeatedly. The online elements of Marnie's life were interesting, her banter with the Elf was fun; the small subplot of Paliopolis were especially good to an internet nut like myself. Marnie's avatar from Paliopolis, the Sorceress, helps her greatly during the course of the story, and I had to stop and wonder what this meant from a psychological standpoint - what else was the author trying to say? Marnie also gets encouragement from what she thinks her deceased mother might say or do in her situation, which plays out on several levels. Her conversations with the Elf in the basement were nothing less than what kept the book going the right way; Elf (we do learn his real name - don't want to spoil it) may have been a 'secondary' character, but he was sometimes more interesting than Marnie herself.
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