Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklySeldom does the payoff for a monumental buildup equal expectations, but the resolution of this thriller's spellbinding plot actually exceeds its promise. Newly single New Yorker Lola Aragon has taken a job as a high school administrator in rural Georgia. Hearing about MaryAnn Nelson, a local girl born with such monstrous deformities that she has been virtually imprisoned by her mother and may not even know how to speak, Lola resolves to help her, ignoring warnings that MaryAnn may be more feral than human. But people who have passed MaryAnn's house in the dead of night have been murdered hideously by a hooded girl who runs like a wolf through lightless woods--and, in fact, MaryAnn's mother forces her to wear a hood to hide her grisly features. When a pair of tough teenagers equally determined to make contact with MaryAnn breaks into the shack, one of them is left without a throat and the other, near death, flees and brings a mob to its feet. MaryAnn runs away, and the prolonged search for her elicits both sympathy and fear, but the surprise awaiting readers is nothing short of stunning. And after the gasp subsides, the truly dark side of Vance's ( The Abyss ) first hardcover novel will overwhelm. (Oct.)
Library Journal - Library JournalHorribly disfigured since birth, teenaged MaryAnn Nelson is known as the Spook by the inhabitants of her small Georgia backwoods town. Hooded, wandering through the hills, she may be responsible for the mutilated bodies that begin to turn up. Several people attempt to find her, including a school district supervisor from New York who wants to determine if she is educable and a local sociopath with a decidedly less charitable intent. Vance's novel--at times exciting, at times merely unpleasant--lacks focus; characters and situations appear briefly only to fizzle out unexpectedly; and the plot can barely support the novel's length. Vance saves his big surprise for a finale that, while startling, strains the reader's credulity. For large fiction collections only.-- Eric W. Johnson, Teikyo Post Univ. Lib., Waterbury, Ct.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalYA-- Almost 16, wild MaryAnn Nelson has never been seen by the townspeople, only whispered and rumored about. They say she runs with her dogs at night and when she does, small animals are eviscerated, items are stolen, and people disappear. Beaten by her mother, forced to wear a hood to hide her disfigured face, and often chained to her bed, MaryAnn has never been to school or had any social interaction. Education specialist Dr. Lola Aragon arrives in her small Southern town, hears the rumors, and vows to educate her. And that's when MaryAnn's family secrets come to light. The cover alone will entice teens, with its fluorescent, leering skull, mouth agape with yellowing teeth. And once hooked, MaryAnn's plight is sure to attract readers. YAs will readily identify with the high school boys who sneak up to her house intent on taunting or touching her, an act they soon regret. This first novel is chilling, well plotted, and scary--everything horror fans want.-- Pam Spencer, Jefferson Sci-Tech, Alexandria, VA
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- Product dimensions:
- 7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)
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Spook based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
On the edge of your seat reading. I couldn't stop reading this masterpiece of death and beauty.