World Fantasy Award winner de Lint (The Blue Girl), known for sophisticated urban fantasies that incorporate Celtic and Native American myths, branches out to include Australian folklore with this tale of Miguel Schreiber, a teenager who discovers that his new Aussie girlfriend, Lainey, is something other than human. As it turns out, she and her grouchy twin sister, Em, are shape-changers-half human, half dingo. Stranger still, their birth father, Tallyman, also a shape-changer, has been sent to capture them by Warrigal, the first Dingo, who has been trapped in a fig tree in the Australian dreamtime for centuries and needs their blood to free himself. Miguel, the twins and Johnny Ward, the local bully (Em likes him), must find some way to defeat these two powerful enemies if the girls are ever to live free from fear. Featuring simplified versions of its author's signature story elements-likable, if flawed protagonists, well-developed contemporary locales and the introduction of potent mythic characters directly into our world-this novella succeeds in its own right and, like Little (Grrl) Lost, will help attract readers to de Lint's more powerful work for older teens and adults. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dingoby Charles de Lint
High school senior Miguel?s life is turned upside down when he meets new girl Lainey, whose family has just moved from Australia. With her tumbled red-gold hair, her instant understanding of who he is, and her unusual dog?a real Australian dingo?she?s unforgettable. And, as he quickly learns, she is on the run from an ancient bargain made by her ancestors. There?s no question that Miguel will do whatever he can to help her?but what price will each of them have to pay? Dingo is quintessential Charles de Lint, set close to his beloved, invented city of Newford?a mixture of darkness and hope, humor and mystery, and the friendship within love.
Gr 7 Up
De Lint ingeniously incorporates Aboriginal mythology into an intriguing story. Miguel, 17, is minding his dad's funky comics and record store in a small resort community when a girl dashes in with her dog to escape the town bully. Miguel feels an immediate connection to her, but there is something strange about her dog. Gradually, he discovers that Lainey is a shape-changer, a magical creature from Australia's Aboriginal past, and the dog-really a dingo-is actually her twin sister. The girls are hiding from their father, who wants to sacrifice Lainey to the powerful Aboriginal spirit Warrigal, the original clan leader, who is trapped in a tree. Suddenly Miguel is catapulted into a rain forest fantasy world complete with a talking cautionary turkey, haunted ancestral bones, and mysterious spirits. Fantasy lovers will enjoy this tale of an initially clueless protagonist thrust into a dangerous situation where he's expected to become an instant hero. A somewhat unnecessary subplot involves the town bully, who actually has a heart of gold and a tender artistic side, and is drawn into the adventure when he falls for Lainey's twin. Still, the juxtaposition of contemporary teen life with fantasy is well done. Readers might be interested enough to investigate more about the complicated Aboriginal Dreamtime of Australia and its early clan spirits and creation myths.-Quinby Frank, Green Acres School, Rockville, MD
Meet the Author
Charles de Lint has been a seventeen-time finalist for the World Fantasy Award, winning in 2000 for his short story collection Moonlight and Vines; its stories are set in de Lint’s popular fictional city of Newford, as is the novel The Blue Girl and much of the collection Waifs and Strays (a World Fantasy Award Finalist). His most recent novel is Little (Grrl) Lost (Viking). Charles de Lint and his musical and creative partner MaryAnn Harris live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
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Charles de Lint has a way to tell a story like nobody else you either love his books or don't but you should give him a try.