From Publishers Weekly
The residents of Baldwin Hills, a middle-class African-American L.A. neighborhood, get caught up in a battle between the king and the queen of the fairies in this wonderful urban fantasy from Card (Seventh Son
). Mack Street, who was abandoned as an infant, grows up to be a sweet but strange but sweet boy. No one could imagine how he is connected to "Bag Man," who lives in an invisible house at the opening to Fairyland and can temporarily force anyone to happily do his bidding, or to a darkly mysterious "motorcycle riding hoochie mama," who seduces men with a touch and has big plans for Baldwin Hills. Not even Cecil "Ceese" Tucker, who found Mack in a shopping bag, can believe that the neighbors' most secret desires are flowing into Mack's dreams, occasionally dripping out and becoming true in a horrifically twisted fashion. When a young swimmer who wishes she were a fish is found drowning in her father's waterbed, magic is never suspected. But once everyone knows the truth, what will they do about it? The ways that the mundane and fantastic intersect are completely believable, and the characters crackle with personality and attitude. Crisp, clean writing creates a vivid sense of place and plugs readers into a story they won't want to see end.
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One day, ultra-fastidious Byron Williams gives a grimy, bag-bedizened bum a lift in his immaculate Mercedes. Weird? Not half, compared to what awaits Byron: his wife, Nadine, in labor--and only the bum seems to have known she was pregnant. When an abnormally small boy is born, the bum reappears, bags the newborn, and splits. Afterward, Nadine remembers nothing of the experience. Ceese Tucker, 12, discovers the baby in the bag, resists very strange urges to destroy it, and gets single neighbor Ura Lee Smitcher to adopt. Ceese becomes informal big brother to the baby, dubbed Mack Street, who grows into a loner who walks the neighborhood day and night, cherished by all. Early on, Mack realizes that he can dream others' fondest wishes until they come true; but if he does, they turn on their wishers, so that, for example, a young swimmer who wishes she were a fish is found inside a water bed, permanently brain damaged from oxygen starvation. At 13, Mack breaches Fairyland via a house that only he can see; four years on, he becomes the focal figure in a battle of good and evil that impinges on fairy and human realms alike. Responding to a black friend's challenge to create a black hero, and inspired by Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream
, Card has constructed a suspenseful fantasy thriller that, during the race to the last page, has one mulling over myth, morals, salvation, and will. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved