Another Faust

Another Faust

3.2 104
by Daniel Nayeri
     
 

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A devilish debut by a brother-sister team invites us into the world of the elite Marlowe School, where some gifted students are having a hell of a year.

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish — only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust

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Overview

A devilish debut by a brother-sister team invites us into the world of the elite Marlowe School, where some gifted students are having a hell of a year.

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish — only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary "gifts." But as the students claw their way up — reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty — they start to suffer the sideeffects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this sibling duo's debut, an unusual urban fantasy, five 10-year-olds—overachieving Victoria, homeless writer Christian, twins Bicé and Belle, and fame-hungry poet Valentin—disappear from their homes and are adopted by the beautiful, mysterious Madame Vileroy. Their families forget them, and they emerge in New York City five years later as the rich Faust siblings, joining the exclusive Marlowe School midyear. Each of the teens has been given a unique power (stopping time, mind-reading, bewitching beauty), though not all of them know the real cost. The novel's pace can be languid, though it picks up once the school year starts and the Fausts learn about the nature of evil and who Vileroy really is. The writing is clever and stylish (“Bicé left a trail of moments like this, when people came away from her feeling better somehow—the kind of moments that were the very opposite of all those little evils that Madame Vileroy left in her wake”) and the dips in and out of reality almost conceal the characters' superficiality. It's an absorbing, imaginative read, with a tense climax. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
In this contemporary story of selling souls for unbelievable power, fame and beauty, five young people find themselves in a New York private school where their fondest dreams may soon be realized. Victoria struggles for recognition and seeks to be the very best in everything she does. Valentin longs to be significant, to have his poetry appreciated, to make a name for himself. Belle is a twin and desires more than anything else to be identifiable; she desires physical beauty even while her sister Bice' desires to hide in her books and study the languages of the world. Christian is homeless, stealing for food and wanting to have the time and physical wealth to sit and write. The children catch the attention of the beautiful, mysterious Madame Nicola Vileroy, the woman with one "broken" eye. She arranges to raise the children and brings them to New York, choosing the Marlowe Academy for the teens' education. But it is not really their education in which she is interested; she longs to manipulate them and others to do her will. In exchange for what the young people most desire, they give up something of themselves and in return they sow seeds of discontent among themselves and others. The supernatural gifts and talents are bought with pain and finally, the cost is not worth it for Christian and Belle. Despite the illusions of talent and beauty, they long to be themselves, to be liked for who they are. With the help of Bice', they realize that they want what is real, even if that too costs them. This is a haunting story of what matters most and what people are willing to give in order to achieve, "Gossip Girl" in the world of malevolent supernatural intervention, and it makes for afascinating story. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
VOYA - Jennifer Miskec
When a beautiful and mysterious woman promises to show you the secrets of the world while granting you your deepest, most powerful desire—for power or beauty or athleticism—you might be tempted to accept her terms. But even if you change your mind—or are brought along unwittingly—escaping the magical and dangerous world the beautiful Madame Vileroy creates is nearly impossible. Five years after leaving their families, fifteen-year-olds Belle, Bice, Victoria, Valentin, and Christian Faust know firsthand the advantage of their special "gifts" (manipulating time, reading minds, and controlling others' emotions, for example), but the consequences are beginning to become clear as well. In this reworking of the classic Faustian dilemma, five teens must decide if a life of power and privilege is worth the cost of selling their souls to the devil. Against the backdrop of present day New York City and the elite Manhattan Marlowe School, the Nayeris' debut novel certainly reflects current young adult trends. Dark like so many of the current teen horror fantasy novels and stylish like Gossip Girl, the brother and sister writing team work hard to create characters who struggle with the insecurities of the past, the successes of the present, and the pain of both. At times, the magical imagery is eerie and beautiful. Unfortunately the magic—especially the siblings' "gifts"—overshadows the characters themselves, creating characters who are a bit too one-dimensional to be memorable. Nonetheless the context and dark tone will surely find a solid readership. Reviewer: Jennifer Miskec
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—When five siblings enroll at Marlowe, an elite prep school in Manhattan, a secret advantage allows them to edge out the competition in sports, class offices, and the hearts of the most popular students. They have all—knowingly or unknowingly—exchanged their souls for supernatural gifts: mind-reading, athletic ability, great writing, control over time, and extreme beauty. However, their evil governess, Madame Vileroy, is not content with what she has already taken from her children. She gets great pleasure in pitting them against one another, regularly offering them more power or accolades in exchange for more of their essential selves. But how far does her power reach? And when is it too late to turn away from evil? With several well-timed twists and numerous allusions to Faustian bargains throughout history, this juicy story will appeal to teens who enjoy the power grabs and backstabbing of Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girls" (Little, Brown), as well as to fans of dark contemporary fantasy.—Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA
Kirkus Reviews
Five teens with supernatural powers move to New York City, where they cause mayhem at an exclusive prep school. The source of their powers is their mysterious, beautiful governess, Nicola Vileroy, who adopted the children when they were ten years old. Each child has a deadly weakness for her to exploit, but only three have made deals with Vileroy, the devil, for their souls. These three-beautiful Belle, ambitious Victoria and mischievous poet Valentin-give up more and more of their being to Vileroy as they aspire to ever loftier academic and social goals. The two others, athletic Christian and Belle's twin, Bice, live in ignorance of their siblings' deals. The teens' story is told in detailed, gothic language. The devil, however, is in the lack of details: Although some of the characters are interesting, the preludes at the beginning of each chapter may be difficult for readers to place in context. Faustian references abound, including a love interest named Thomas Goodman-Brown. By switching character viewpoints often, the authors keep the pace moving to an ending full of action, revelation and horror. (Supernatural fiction. YA)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763648343
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
08/10/2010
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
907,540
Product dimensions:
8.78(w) x 11.04(h) x 1.05(d)
Lexile:
740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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