The Watcher in the Shadows

( 1 )

Overview

At the turn of the twentieth century, New York’s Bowery District becomes the scene of a terrible murder when the Klezmer King gets fried to a crisp by his Electric Tuxedo—on stage! The Inquisitor’s apprentice, thirteen-year-old Sacha Kessler, tries to help find the killer, but the closer he gets to solving the crime, the more it sounds as if the creature that haunted him in his first adventure is back. Worse still, his own family is in danger. Sacha has avoided learning magic until now, but as his world falls ...

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The Watcher in the Shadows

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Overview

At the turn of the twentieth century, New York’s Bowery District becomes the scene of a terrible murder when the Klezmer King gets fried to a crisp by his Electric Tuxedo—on stage! The Inquisitor’s apprentice, thirteen-year-old Sacha Kessler, tries to help find the killer, but the closer he gets to solving the crime, the more it sounds as if the creature that haunted him in his first adventure is back. Worse still, his own family is in danger. Sacha has avoided learning magic until now, but as his world falls apart around him, he changes his mind.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Imagine a turn-of-the-20th-century New York in which the Irish, Italian, and Jewish mob bosses are fighting to retain power, and the wealthy, in particular J. P. Morgaunt, are trying to rule the city with magical power. The police inquisitors use magic to catch criminals, and Morgaunt has used it to take a soul to create an evil twin, a dybbuk, of Sacha Kessler, the 13-year-old boy from the Jewish tenements who has been chosen to be an inquisitor's apprentice. The story picks up shortly after The Inquisitor's Apprentice (Houghton Harcourt, 2011) ended, with the dybbuk still causing turmoil and death. Inquisitor Wolff, Sacha's mentor, is investigating a murder of a famous klezmer player for which a boy is being framed at the same time that Sacha's sister and her fellow members of the IWW are going on strike at the Pentacle Shirtwaist Factory. Sacha is faced with the reality that his wealthy fellow apprentice Lily Astral might actually be his friend, that his mother has been drawn into Morgaunt's evil plan, and that his grandfather, the revered Rabbi Kessler, has sacrificed himself to Sacha's dybbuk. Faced with loss and heartache, Sacha must decide if he wants to learn to practice his gift for deep magic or remain faithful to his religion and the wishes of his grandfather. Moriarty has once again fashioned a complex mystery and adventure that is as twisted and unexpected as the stairways and rooms of the tenement buildings he so adeptly describes. Youngsters will want to read the first book before delving into this one. Many readers will be hoping for at least another volume to discover if good magic can overcome the evil seeping out of the ever-changing mansion of J.P. Morgaunt.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
The magic is darker in this intense sequel to The Inquisitor's Apprentice (2011). In a richly imagined alternate version of New York City at the turn of the 20th century, Sacha continues his on-the-job training in the police department's Inquisitor division amid murder, abduction and terrifying encounters with evil beings both real and magical. J.P. Morgaunt mercilessly wields his magical power over newspapers, transportation, manufacturing and just about everything else, including a soul-stealing machine with which he has loosed Sacha's doppelganger, a dybbuk that is constantly growing stronger. An impending strike at the Pentacle Shirtwaist Factory is the catalyst for Morgaunt's machinations, which encompass the workers' union, the crime syndicate Magic, Inc., martial arts and Kabbalists. When Sacha's family is drawn into this morass, he must make impossible choices between guarding their safety and working with Inspector Wolf, Lily and Peyton, all of whom have become dear to him. Moriarity again manages to capture the great distance between rich and poor, the struggle of immigrants to cope with bigotry and poverty, and the rapidly growing and changing world of the real New York City, while staying true to Sacha's mystical city. Rich language, colorful syntax, vivid description and a brilliant cast of characters beckon readers right into both the adventure and the heartfelt emotional landscape. Exciting, action-packed and absolutely marvelous. (Fantasy. 10 & up)
From the Publisher
*"Rich language, colorful syntax, vivid description and a brilliant cast of characters beckon readers right into both the adventure and the heartfelt emotional landscape. Exciting, action-packed and absolutely marvelous."Kirkus, starred review
 

*“Although this is full of story, what captivates is the world that Moriarity has created, one where magic is woven into the very fabric. . . . A touch of Chabon, a hiss of steampunk, and a blast of originality.”—Booklist, starred review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547466323
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Pages: 326
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Moriarty is an award-winning science fiction writer who grew up in New York surrounded by a zany Jewish family much like Sacha’s. Her other books include Spin State and Spin Control, winner of the 2007 Philip K. Dick Award. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children. Visit her website at www.inquisitorsapprentice.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 2, 2014

    Wonderful follow up to the first book. We learn more about the c

    Wonderful follow up to the first book. We learn more about the characters and their relationships and the world they live in.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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