Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Thief of Always

By Clive Barker

Harvey is 10 years old and bored. School is boring, the weather is boring and there is nothing to look forward to in the middle of boring old February. So when a stranger invites Harvey to visit Holiday House, he is suspicious but eventually gives in to his longing for something fun and different.
At first, Holiday House is everything the stranger promised: the weather is beautiful, every day is Christmas and there is food and treats aplenty. Plus, Harvey enjoys the company of two other children at Holiday House, Wendell and Lulu. Of course, Holiday House is not the wonderful paradise it pretends to be. All those presents and toys and treats have to be paid for. And the price is very steep, indeed.

This was an OK story, rather predictable with what I felt was a weak ending. I mean, why would a creature as old and experienced as Mr. Hood, the power behind the house, fall for the very obvious trick that Harvey pulled on him?
The blurbs in the front of the book claim it is intended for teens and adults but I think most adults would find it as predictable as I did. It was not a surprise that Holiday House turns out to be a snare and a trap and that Mr. Hood is feeding on the souls of all the lost children that end up there. Or that Harvey is the hero who will rise to the occasion and rescue not only himself but all the lost children. Or even that each day at Holiday House is a year in the real world. I can't recommend this book for adults but kids would probably enjoy it.

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