The Paradise Trap

( 3 )

Overview

Eleven year old Marcus loves video games and hates the beach. So he is not happy when his mum Holly drags him to Diamond Beach, the place she loved as a child. Once there, Holly meets Coco, her friend from her childhood. She is there with her electronics-obsessed husband, Sterling Huckstepp, and their kids, cool teenage Newt, pizza-loving Edison and the family robot, Prot. Opening a door into the basement of Holly's caravan, Edison discovers the most amazing amusement park. Whoever opens a door in the basement ...

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The Paradise Trap

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Overview

Eleven year old Marcus loves video games and hates the beach. So he is not happy when his mum Holly drags him to Diamond Beach, the place she loved as a child. Once there, Holly meets Coco, her friend from her childhood. She is there with her electronics-obsessed husband, Sterling Huckstepp, and their kids, cool teenage Newt, pizza-loving Edison and the family robot, Prot. Opening a door into the basement of Holly's caravan, Edison discovers the most amazing amusement park. Whoever opens a door in the basement finds themselves in their very own dream vacation. But when the dream becomes impossible to escape from, it all begins to feel more like a nightmare: Marcus, Holly, and the Huckstepps find themselves trapped in a matrix of terrifyingly perfect dreamscapes peopled with strange characters that will allow them to do anything they want, except leave...A whirlwind adventure at a breakneck speed.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
When Holly rents a busted trailer from childhood friend Coco for a vacation at Diamond Beach, her 11-year-old son, Marcus—who would rather spend the summer playing video games—is less than thrilled. Adding to his displeasure is the fact that the beach (a prime vacation spot, as his mother recalls it) has gone to seed. But while playing in the trailer with Coco’s stepson, Edison, Marcus discovers a hidden stairwell that leads to a number of alternate universes. Chelsea Bruland’s narration is clean and engaging, if a little uninspired. She does little to differentiate the book’s characters, e.g., her rendering of Marcus is very similar to her narration of descriptive and expository passages. However, Bruland does deepen her voice for some of the male characters—and her rendition of the story will likely please fans of the book. Ages 8–12. An Egmont USA hardcover. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly
Jinks (the Evil Genius series) combines a plot filled with surreal twists and turns with a dash of Greek mythology in a novel that hits the mark on both the humor and horror fronts. Eleven-year-old Marcus has no interest in spending the summer at the beach with his mother, Holly, in the old trailer she buys—he’d rather play video games than deal with the obnoxious crowds. However, Marcus and his new friends, siblings Edison and Newt, discover that the trailer somehow has a secret cellar, which takes them to fantastic, too-good-to-be-true places that entice them to stay in the mysterious realm (for Edison, it’s an amusement park; for Newt, a rocking nightclub). Although several classic tropes appear (from the various dangerous paradises to Edison and Newt’s mad scientist–like father), Jinks keeps her material fresh, weaving in old myths and the occasional bit of social commentary; a sizable amount of the story is told from Holly’s point of view, in addition to Marcus’s. The result is a fast-paced adventure that’s easily as exciting as one of Marcus’s beloved video games. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Catherine Jinks:

"A breathless escapade."Kirkus Reviews

"Jinks (the Evil Genius series) combines a plot filled with surreal twists and turns with a dash of Greek mythology in a novel that hits the mark on both the humor and horror fronts."—Publishers Weekly

"Jinks deftly mixes mild horror with humor to give younger readers a few shivers and make older readers chuckle. Each dream/nightmare world sheds dramatic, sometimes touching, insight into the character whose hopes and fears create it, and the nonstop action will make for exciting read-alouds and book talks. Completely absorbing and totally fun."School Library Journal

School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 4–7—Going to Diamond Beach in a smelly old trailer is not Marcus's idea of a dream vacation, but his mother, Holly, wants to recapture the fun of her youth. When the two arrive, Holly is reunited with her old friend, Coco, and they reminisce about the past and about a boy named Jake, while Marcus becomes friends with Holly's stepson, Eddison. The boys decide to go exploring in the trailer and discover a cellar with doors at the bottom. The two enter Eddison's dream world, but Marcus refuses to stay and Eddison will not leave. Marcus drags Holly, Coco, and Eddison's sister back to the trailer. Coco recognizes the trailer as belonging to Miss Molpe, a woman who played beguiling music to them as children. As more and more people get lost in their dream vacations, it's up to Marcus, his mother, Coco's husband, and a robot named Prot to save everyone, including Jake, before their vacations become nightmares. Miss Molpe still owns the trailer and with it secrets that could prove deadly to the children. Catherine Jinks has created a clever story (Egmont USA, 2012) with an interesting twist on the siren myth. Chelsea Bruland provides characterizations that perfectly capture each character. Her suspenseful reading will keep listeners breathless until the very end. Great for middle schoolers who want just a little danger along with their fantasy.—Sarah Flood, Breckinridge County Public Library, Hardinsburg, KY
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Marcus is devastated when his mom, Holly, ruins his summer plans by buying a junky old trailer and taking him to her favorite childhood vacation spot, Diamond Beach. When they arrive, Holly runs into Coco, one of her friends from the old days, all grown up and married to a semi-famous inventor, Sterling Huckstepp. He has two kids: Newt, a sassy teen girl, and a younger boy, Edison. Their trailer is full of crazy inventions, including a bumbling robot, Prot. Then the boys find that Marcus's trailer has a cellar. When Edison opens the cellar door, it leads to a fantastic amusement park, and he doesn't want to leave. Marcus realizes that the cellar creates the personal dream vacation of whoever opens the door, only the vacation never, ever ends. He enlists the help of Prot, Newt, and the adults, which takes the action up a notch as they all fight to escape the trap, rescue Holly's missing childhood crush, and defeat the evil that is trying to destroy them. Readers will be anxious to get lost in this world of dreams, nightmares, and deception. Jinks deftly mixes mild horror with humor to give younger readers a few shivers and make older readers chuckle. Each dream/nightmare world sheds dramatic, sometimes touching, insight into the character whose hopes and fears created it, and the nonstop action will make for exciting read-alouds and booktalks. Completely absorbing and totally fun.—Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Two vacationing families fall afoul of a deadly predator from Greek mythology. Just arrived among the hordes of vacationers surrounding Diamond Beach, 11-year-old video-gamer Marcus is astounded to discover that the shabby, wheeled trailer his mother Holly bought for the outing sports a hidden staircase that leads down to a dark cellar. Stranger yet, the cellar has doors that lead to the opener's dream vacation. These range from a fabulous amusement park for the young son of Coco, a childhood friend of Holly's who follows Marcus down the stairs, and a rock club packed with celebrities for Coco's moody teenage daughter to the idyllic beach resort of Holly's childhood. The disturbing discovery that each locale turns hostile toward anyone who wants to leave or isn't having fun prompts Marcus to enlist the grownups in a rescue that becomes a running battle with the trailer's former owner, Miss Molpe. This kindly old lady from Holly's youth is in truth a clever and powerful child-eating Siren who has lost her voice but still retains the ability to set elaborate magical snares for intended victims. She can also create vacations from hell, as Marcus and company discover before a narrow escape that (possibly) sends her to a fiery doom. A breathless escapade, featuring several horror-show tropes leavened with hints of satire. (Fantasy. 11-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307968067
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine Jinks is the Australian author of more than thirty books for all ages. She has garnered many awards, including the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award(three times), the Victorian Premier’s Award, the Aurealis Award for Science Fiction, the Australian Ibby Award, and the Davitt Award for Crime Fiction. Her work has been published in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, the United States, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Thailand.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    So good and that person below be is so wrong

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    I SUGGEST U READ THIS BOOK NOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    READ this book!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    Awesome book

    What is with no reviews. This book is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!rated 10" stars.

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