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The Ominous Eye: The Nocturnals Book 2 Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 20, 2016
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"The Nocturnals is an enchanting story about a group of animals who band together to protect their friends and find adventure. The characters are delightful and the nighttime landscape is captivating. It was just as I expected—because the best stories always take place in the dark!"—R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps
“Hecht continues to charm readers with delightfully drawn characters and consistent suspense… A welcome return of the colorful and curious trio—their next can't arrive soon enough.”(Fantasy 9-12) —Kirkus Reviews
“In this satisfying second installment… returning fans will be rewarded with the expected engaging plot twists, plenty of humor, Bismarck’s unrequited mooning over Dawn, and reaffirmation of the trio’s mutual loyalty and friendship.“ —Booklist
“Fourth to sixth graders, boys and girls alike, will enjoy book two of this series. But don't let the kids have all the fun! Animal loving adults, like myself, will also enjoy this series. So far I find the Nocturnals series to be a fun bedtime read, a good way to leave the worries and woes of the adult day behind.”—Bookloons
"The Ominous Eye explores how friendships can change, first (and second) impressions aren't always correct, and fear shouldn't stop you from doing what's right. Fans of The Nocturnals will devour this latest adventure with new characters and a thrilling mystery." —YA and Kids Book Central (YABC)
"Hecht writes a novel that can stand on its own and allows readers to jump right into the series and backtrack later. The characters are each unique… the reader can’t help but be invested in them… Hecht does a great job of tying together themes and morals centering around acceptance, understanding, and friendship." —Centered on Books
About the Author
Kate Liebman is an artist who lives and works in New York City. She graduated from Yale University, contributes to the Brooklyn Rail, and has shown her work at multiple galleries. She grew up in Santa Monica, California.
Top customer reviews
Tobin, the pangolin, Bismark, the sugar glider, and Dawn, a red fox, have continued the friendship and their decision to stay together to help others. A mysterious crater, a violent explosion, and raining ash propel the three to seek to discover the source of this phenomenon. An encounter with Polyphema, a tuatara, whose third eye causes the ever-romantic Bismark to “fall in love” may be more ominous than first thought. (Notice the similarity of her name to that of Polyphemus, the man-eating Cyclops of mythology) The Nocturnal Brigade will need to summon untapped depths of courage and resourcefulness to overcome the evil lurking in their surroundings.
Tracey Hecht has subtly woven facts of natural history, science, and ecological issues on the pages of “The Nocturnals: The Ominous Eye”. Seamlessly incorporated into the story, the unusual animals and their habits are explained so that the reader understands what each is. Personalities are distinct and, although somewhat common to individuals making up a group of fictional characters, are still fun. In the vein of Pepe le Pew, Bismark believes himself to be multi-lingual; he often mixes languages as he expresses his thoughts. Bismark is a hopeless romantic, a self-envisioned Lotherio. He is the most amusing character in the book. Dawn is a thoughtful, intelligent female; she has become the defacto leader of the Brigade. Tobin, the shy and reticent character who provides a rational perspective on events; he rises to the challenges he faces.
Unlike the artwork in the ARC of “The Mysterious Abductions”, the artwork in the Advance Reader Copy was rendered in black-and-white. Kate Liebman’s illustrations, that will be four color in the final edition, head each chapter. These are stylized and, to me, resembled ancient Egyptian art rendered in tissue-paper collage or watercolor. These impressionistic illustrations help bring the characters to life.
Tracey Hecht’s “The Nocturnals: The Ominous Eye” is appropriate for the target group – ages 7 to 12 years old – and as a read-aloud for older preschoolers and kindergarten age children. Clever word-play and unique situations make this book equally enjoyable for adult readers.
We meet three friends and learn how friendships change over time. Bismark, the sugar glider, Tobin the pangolin, and Dawn, a red fox, met in book one, I gather, and decided to continue their friendship to find the source of some very strange events. Craters, explosions and a sky full of ash all make for eventful times. Each of the characters', pangolin, fox and sugar glider have unique personalities, and each one finds special attributes that fit them. On their trip to find the cause of the strange events, they find a creature with a third eye called tuatara. One of the characters takes a shine to the tuatara, which causes some problems.
The author, Tracey Hecht, has one of the most inventive imaginations, that enthralled my grandson no end. He loved this book so much. I did go ahead and order the first book for him right away. This kind of imagination coincides with his, an,d the characters were just right for him. He has reread the book, and told me he loves it even more. What better review could there be?
Highly Recommended. prisrob 08-23-16
The focus of the Nocturnals has always been on the strong friendship that Dawn, Tobin, and Bismark share. I like how their friendship is put to the test in this novel because it shows young readers that good friends can fight and doubt each other, but they will continue to care for each other and put in the effort to make up.
Blurs the Line Between Good and Evil
Like the first book, The Ominous Eye blurs the line between good and evil. Oftentimes, we look at someone's actions and judge their character based off a specific behavior at a specific point in the time, but we don't stop to question the motive behind their behavior. The Ominous Eye calls us to consider the other side's perspective.
Caricature of the Real World
The actions of the nocturnals in this novel reflect the actions of real-world people when bad things happen and no one knows what to do. This book provide a safe place for children to consider how they would act (or who in the novel they want to act like) should something similar take place in their lives.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
As in the first novel, the characters stay nicely packaged in their respective personas. While events cause tension within the heroes' relationships with one another, even the quarrel isn't very persuasive and lacks depth.
The Characters' Attitudes and Actions
On top of what I didn't like from the last novel, I really didn't like Dawn and Bismark's attitudes in this novel. The new major player in this novel was also pretty big "know it all." Young readers may find their attitudes and actions interesting, but as an older reader, I wanted to see more to the characters' personalities.
Overall, I appreciate how the Nocturnals books introduce young readers to new creatures and teaches them about friendship, hope, and perseverance through hardships. In exploring real-world concepts through animals lives, the book gives young readers the opportunity to consider the right thing to do when faced with a moral dilemma.