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Johnson, Hal. Immortal Lycanthropes.

4Q * 4P * J * S

Johnson, Hal. Immortal Lycanthropes. Clarion, 2012. 304p. $16.99. 978-0-547-75196-2.

The narrator of Hal Johnson's debut fantasy novel talks to his readers as he describes how Myron Horowitz, a short, nose-less, sexually immature, ninth-grade lycanthrope (not exactly), uncovers mysteries of his past to find his place in the world. Victimized by bullies at Henry Clay High School in "suburban western Pennsylvania" Myron is temporarily rescued by fellow lycanthropes (one is the narrator of the story) only to be captured by other lycanthropes who plan to kill him or use him for their own ends. Finally escaping, he painfully adventures across the country to New York City, Chicago, and eventually to Portland and St. Clemente Island, fending off his captors all the way to discover "who he is." He faces danger and extraordinary physical challenges with bravery and levelheadedness, and meets many colorful characters along way.

Filled with sarcasm and humor, this book will appeal to all teens, especially animal lovers and fantasy fans. Like the narrator, readers will be filled with Schadenfreude as bullies and bad guys suffer and meet with awful and violent ends. Johnson depicts vivid city and country scenes, and beautiful images of nature and wildlife that are supplemented by Teagan White's delightful drawings of the lycanthropes. Teachers will love the high-level vocabulary (and content clues), sophisticated mathematical and scientific references, and non-stop allusions to writers, poets, books, and historical events. Though plot details get unwieldy at times, this book is enchanting and funny, filled with glib narrative asides, and superbly concluded.

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Author:Miller, Christina
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2012
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