Henry Franks

Henry Franks

5.0 4
by Peter Adam Salomon
     
 

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For Henry Franks, Death is Everywhere.

It claimed his mother a year ago, in an accident that robbed him of his memory and left him covered with horrific scars.

It’s in his skin, leaving him numb to pain no matter how hard he tries to hurt himself.

It obsesses his distant father, who buries himself in his work at the morgue.

And

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Overview

For Henry Franks, Death is Everywhere.

It claimed his mother a year ago, in an accident that robbed him of his memory and left him covered with horrific scars.

It’s in his skin, leaving him numb to pain no matter how hard he tries to hurt himself.

It obsesses his distant father, who buries himself in his work at the morgue.

And it’s stalking the streets, where a serial killer’s path of destruction reveals the dark truth of Henry’s past.

Praise for Henry Franks:

"The thinking teen’s horror choice of the year."—Booklist (starred review)

"A strong start for a promising author." —Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A horror classic gets a facelift in this modern-day version of Frankenstein, Salomon's debut. It's been a year since an accident left Henry Franks amnesiac and covered in scars, suffering from nightmares, and losing feeling in his extremities. Now 16, Henry is obsessed with uncovering his lost past, but his father is evasive and none of the clues line up properly. Only his neighbor Justine seems willing to help. An awkward romance blossoms between the teens as they unravel Henry's disturbing origins, but the arrival of a serial killer may put an end to everything. The novel's mystery, romance, and horror elements tie together like Henry's scars: the seams show, but for the most part it works as a whole. Salomon nails the ominous atmosphere and increasing sense of dread, though the climax is muddled (the presence of both the serial killer and an impending hurricane amps up the story's tension, but also feels gratuitous). Nevertheless, it's a strong start for a promising author. Ages 13–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Sept.)
VOYA - Amanda Fensch
Henry Franks cannot remember the accident that claimed his mother's life and left him with scars all over his body. His therapist does not seem to be much help, and his absentee father, who only appears to administer Henry's medicine and give him fast food meals, does not seem to care. Henry has been left to piece together his memories and try to understand why he feels so adrift. With help from a friend, Henry begins to realize that his mother's accident, his father's obsession with his work at the morgue, and the serial killer who is wreaking havoc in town are all gruesomely connected. Salomon's attempt at writing a horror novel that will appeal to teens falls rather flat. At first, the reader is pulled in by Henry's shattered life, which is made more intriguing by the therapist's notes that make up some chapters. Unfortunately for Salomon, what was an interesting premise quickly succumbs to its own preposterousness and lack of fluid writing. The ending, which most readers will see coming within the first fifty pages, is completely devoid of any intense or horrifying moments and only manages to disappoint. It is not hard to see what Salomon was trying to do, but Kenneth Oppel has already claimed the Frankenstein plot for teens with This Dark Endeavor (Simon & Schuster, 2011/VOYA October 2011), and did so with excellence. If teens are looking for horror novels, direct them to Daniel Kraus's Rotters (Delacorte, 2011/VOYA June 2011); the superb Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancy; or the aforementioned Oppel title. Reviewer: Amanda Fensch
Children's Literature - Naomi Milliner
First, some warnings. Do not read in the house alone. Do not read on a dark and stormy night. Do not read if prone to squeamishness or nightmares. Henry Franks has more stitches than he can count (4,317); parts of his body he cannot feel; a dead mother; a remote father; and a serious case of amnesia. Despite all these strikes against him, he is astonishingly free of anger and self-pity; in fact, he even has a sense of humor. As the story progresses, he also receives a wonderful and unexpected gift: Justine, his next-door neighbor, who becomes his only friend, and then—in one of the most refreshing relationships in a YA novel—his girlfriend. Together, they attempt to discover, and recover, his past. One mystery leads to another and, before long, nothing is what it seems. When Justine says, "I've still no idea what the truth is," Henry replies, "Welcome to my world." If things were not complicated enough, there is also a serial killer on the loose, and a Category 5 hurricane heading their way. It is difficult to offer more details without giving away too much of the plot. This debut horror novel is original and well-written, with a cast of fascinating characters (both major and supporting), natural dialogue, and numerous page-turners. Still, it is definitely not for the faint of heart. Reviewer: Naomi Milliner
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—It's been nine months, but Henry still can't remember the accident that killed his mother and left him covered in scars-or anything before that. With a sweltering summer starting, the teen has a lot of time on his hands, but he just can't piece together who he is or, more mysteriously, why he has no feeling in an increasing portion of his body or why his father spends so much time at his job at the morgue. As a hurricane approaches and a serial killer roams the island off the Georgia mainland, Henry and his neighbor Justine begin to unravel a tangle of lies and connected horrors. Salomon begins with an interesting premise, modernizing the Frankenstein story, but doesn't deliver. The first two thirds of the novel fail to build any tension despite the twin threats of an oncoming hurricane and an unidentified serial killer, which leaves the ending feeling rushed. The final reveal depends on a completely new character never mentioned before and allows things to be wrapped up too tidily, and the epilogue is completely preposterous, even in a story where the readers' belief has already been suspended. The dialogue never feels natural, and descriptions are often repetitive. This story is full of disparate elements stitched together in a final product that is unbelievable and unsustainable.—Gretchen Kolderup, New Canaan Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Loner sophomore Henry Franks desperately wants to regain his memory so he can find out if he is who his father says he is. Henry's body is a road map of scars thanks to the auto accident that supposedly killed his mother. He has no memory of the accident or of life before waking up on St. Simons Island in Georgia. He regularly sees a psychiatrist, but she just repeats that recovery of his memory is a process that may take time. His only friend at school is Justine, his beautiful neighbor, who doesn't care about his scars. Henry's disturbed by dreams of a little girl who calls him daddy and tells him his name is Victor. When he finds a box of mysterious photographs in the cellar, he and Justine begin investigating his past. Meanwhile, a hurricane bears down on the coast of Georgia, and a serial killer is on the loose. When Henry and Justine discover the truth, it's more amazing and terrifying than either expected. Salomon's debut stumbles out of the gate, and then, when it finally picks up steam, it is hobbled by an annoying grammatical quirk of rendering several short, sequential lines of dialogue with no attribution. At times, this tendency renders it nearly unreadable; neither intriguing characters nor its interesting riff on the Frankenstein story can save it. A tertiary purchase for those who seek creepy science fiction. (Horror. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738733364
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
09/08/2012
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,393,841
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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