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Bonechiller Paperback – September 11, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—In this supernatural thriller set in a remote Canadian town in the dead of winter, four friends encounter a cannibalistic creature that is hunting and killing teens. Out late at night, Danny, the narrator, is stung by the terrible monster and it begins to stalk his nightmares. As he becomes increasingly and mysteriously ill, he realizes that his life is in danger. The foursome, after a failed attempt to involve law enforcement, decide to take on the behemoth with stolen dynamite and guns "borrowed" from their fathers. In addition to the main story line, the novel has Danny coming to terms with his mother's recent death and reconnecting with his father. Each of the friends comes across as an individual. Danny's love interest, Ash, a girl boxer who is half Ojibwa, is a particularly dynamic character (Danny's physical reaction to riding with her on her motorbike will ring true with hormonal teens). It is from Ash that Danny first hears stories about Windigos, "big, ugly things…with a chunk of ice for a heart." The unrelenting pace, short chapters, and the idea of teenagers taking on a monster with a large amount of weaponry will certainly appeal to fans of horror novels.—Caroline Tesauro, Radford Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Something is out there, in the cold nothing of the Canadian winter, making teenagers disappear. McNamee’s follow-up to Acceleration (2003) is another page-turning thriller, this time with an eerie supernatural edge that will appeal to fans of psychological horror. Newcomer Danny and his brainy friend Howie have been chased down and stung by a Windigo, a massive cannibalistic beast. Now they are infected, racing against time before being compelled to give in to the beast in the frozen tundra. Ash, whose boxing wows Danny before her kisses do, and Pike, Howie’s pyromaniac brother, also join the hunt. The book starts out with a bang as Pike sets fire to a convenience store, followed by a night race through the icy wilderness. The cold atmosphere pervades the book, and readers will shudder as Danny grows colder himself. Enough backstory is presented to give the characters dimension, but most of the focus is on the danger at hand. The book climaxes in an ammo-laden action sequence that will keep readers perched on the edges of their seats. Grades 7-10. --Heather Booth --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The best part was the personality Ash. She competed in female boxing matches. She and Danny are on the way to becoming a couple - not there yet. She says things like lets race, if you win you can cop a feel. The ending was good. They did some fun teenager-type things to fight the demon.
The worst part was the author's grammar. Way too many sentences start with "Me and mom are ..." "Me and Howie had ..." Her and Pike check their guns." It was too often and annoying.
Narrative mode: 1st person Danny. Story length; 294 pages. Swearing language: mild. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day small town in Ontario, Canada. Copyright: 2008. Genre: young adult paranormal suspense.
McNamee delivers. His unique use of characters allows him to tell a monster tale from Danny's interesting perspective with support characters, like brothers Pike and Howie, to help him along. The brothers add depth in totally different ways (Pike with his weapons knowledge and Howie with his analytical mind). Danny's love interest Ali adds a dimension of complexity with her Native American roots, boxing prowess, and strangely alluring personality.
Everything McNamee sets up in his story ends up coming together to make this a tidy tale of something that seems uncontrollable: a windigo-like monster who preys on the youth of Northern Canada.
McNamee is the Stephen King for the Young Adult scene. I hope he has a few more like this up his sleeve.