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The Road Of The Dead Hardcover – March 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 9 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House; First Edition edition (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439786231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439786232
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-Ruben Ford, 14, feels things. When his sister is murdered on the English moors, he knows she's dead even though he's home in London. He and his brother, Cole, 17, are freakishly linked by Ruben's power to feel what Cole feels. The teens travel to Dartmoor to find Rachel's killer and bring her body home. They're received by a Dickensian assortment of sadistic thugs, greasy criminals, and corrupt cops, all hiding something. Brooks's feel for mood and setting is as masterful here as in his taut, noir Martyn Pig (Scholastic, 2002). A haunting, tense drama builds from the first line and only lets up for scenes of brutal, vivid violence that bring readers back down to earth. The murder is all but solved by the second half of the book, and the pace falters a bit as the resolution becomes obvious. However, Brooks sustains a mythical aura throughout, and rapid-fire action should keep teens engrossed. Ruben is vintage Brooks: sensitive, strange, and wholly three-dimensional. The dialogue between the brothers is crisp and natural, and often funny and touching at once. Cole is perfectly drawn as Ruben's tough, detached counterbalance. Brooks shows that the real magic between the brothers is their ferocious love for one another, and he does so brilliantly.-Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. Fourteen-year-old Ruben Ford is sitting in his father's junkyard when he knows--knows--that his older sister, Rachel, has been raped and murdered. Perhaps it is his Gypsy blood that gives him second sight; Ruben can see and feel things others can't. He knows, for instance, that his ice-cold brother, Cole, is going to get into--and cause--trouble when he decides to go to desolate Dartmoor, where Rachel met her end. Brooks' great strength is his talent for intense description; he makes readers see, feel, and smell all that Ruben does--most of it coarse, disgusting, and ugly. The author uses an interesting technique to heighten that effect. Psychic Ruben can see things happening miles away, so Cole's battles with those responsible for Rachel's death are literally seen through Ruben's eyes. However, as in Kissing the Rain (2004), Brooks has trouble tying up loose ends. Thus, the question of how Cole comes upon a key piece of evidence is brushed away with Ruben's comment, "Does it matter?" Readers have sat through a lot of brutality (albeit strikingly written brutality) to get that information, so the answer is, well, yeah, it does. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I usually don't pick up books at the library unless the inside front cover synopsis hints at romance or humor. The Road of the Dead hinted at neither, but something made me take it anyway. Perhaps I was just tyring to convince myself that the above statement wasn't true.
I wasn't expecting to be moved by this book -- I thought maybe I'd like it, maybe not. I didn't think it would make much of an impression on me. But I was wrong.
I really liked the portrayal of Cole and Ruben, the brothers who are searching for their sister's killer -- not, as in most other cases, for revenge, but simply so that they can bring her body home and bury her. The brothers are different -- as Ruben says, his mind is fast but his fists are slow, and Cole's mind is slow but his fists are fast -- but each is skillfully drawn. And the relationship between them is wonderful. It is the unattainable epitome of sibling relationships, and yet somehow realistic. It is the driving force behind the book, and a powerful force it is.
The Road of the Dead contains a slightly supernatural element, but it is worked in so seamlessly that after closing the book I found it odd that people can't see through the eyes of others who are far away in real life. It makes the story more complete, as well, and helps to give a first person narrative omniscience.
This book is well written and engaging, and I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Ruben knew exactly when it happened. He was sitting in the backseat of an old Mercedes in his family's salvage yard when the feeling came over him. Ruben often left his own body and could attach himself to others. He could sense their thoughts and emotions. This is what happened when he felt his sister, Rachel, get attacked and murdered. He knew exactly the moment Rachel's life was taken from her.

Even though he knew it had happened and knew that the Dead Man killed her, Ruben didn't say anything to his family. He hoped he might be wrong. He realized he wasn't when the police contacted the family. The details were simple: Rachel, nineteen years old, was visiting an old school friend in the small village of Lychcombe on Dartmoor. After her visit was over, she left and made her way toward London to return home, but never made it. Her body was found the following morning, strangled, raped, and battered.

The most important thing to the family was to get her back. They wanted to bury her and put her to rest. After a trip to the police station to find out how long her body would be held, the family found out that the police would keep her until the case was closed; meaning the murderer had to be caught. The problem with that was, Ruben knew the murderer was already dead and buried and the case wouldn't be solved anytime soon.

Ruben's older brother, Cole, wasn't going to sit around and wait. He planned to go to the village to find out what happened himself and he planned to go alone. He didn't want his younger brother going along to worry about. Ruben knew what Cole was thinking, though, and his mother wanted him to go along to make sure Cole didn't get himself hurt. Cole's temper tended to get him in trouble.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on March 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Kevin Brooks is the master of writing juicy thrillers for teens (MARTYN PIG, LUCAS, KISSING THE RAIN, CANDY), and his latest caper, THE ROAD OF THE DEAD, doesn't disappoint. With plenty of plot twists, pulse-racing action sequences, and just a slight twinge of sentiment to keep all parts in check, Brooks's fifth novel once again will have his devotees holding their breath until the last page is turned.

As in many of his previous books, Brooks sets the stage with an unresolved murder and plenty of complicated loose ends to untangle. "On Friday, May 14, Rachel had taken a trip to Plymouth to visit an old school friend named Abbie Gorman...On the night of Tuesday, May 18, Rachel set out from Lychcombe on her way back to London. She never arrived. Her body was found the following morning in a remote moorland field about a mile of the village. She'd been raped and battered and strangled." One dead 19-year-old girl. No killer. No motive. No leads.

Almost immediately after the news of her death, Rachel's two surviving brothers, Cole (17) and Ruben (14) set off for Lychcombe to find her killer so that the case can be closed and the ever-so-unhelpful police can release Rachel's body from the morgue to be buried in peace. What Cole and Ruben don't realize is that the circumstances surrounding her murder are a lot more complicated than they ever suspected and that it would take much more than a bit of digging (literally) to uncover the truth.

When the two arrive in Lychcombe, they are met (not unsurprisingly) with more than their fair share of resistance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Kevin Brooks' The Road Of The Dead tells of a teen who can sense things nobody else can. After his sister's death, he and his brother leave their London home for the moors of Devon, where they are determined to uncover the truth behind her murder. The Road Of The Dead is a recommended pick for mature teens: a dark tale of discovery and unusual talents set against a backdrop of murder.
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