Reviewed August 16, 2003.
A Richard Jackson Book (Atheneum), New York, 2002.
$11.87 in hardcover on Amazon.com
Into the Labyrinth
is a sequel to The Great Good Thing,
which I reviewed
last issue. The Great Good Thing
is about the lives of characters
in a book when the book isn’t being read. There was only one copy
of their original book. At the start of Into the Labyrinth,
their book is back in print, and they’re stressed out at having to scamper
into place every time another Reader opens it. They don’t quite cover
what would happen if two people were reading it at once, but it’s quite
entertaining hearing about their mistakes (which the Reader takes for a typo)
Then their book goes on the Web. It’s a whole new world for
the characters, learning how to scroll down a screen instead of staying
on pages. You can all guess the problem of the book. Of course
it’s a computer virus that threatens their very existence….
Like the earlier book, this is a fun idea, along with delightful characters.
Just don’t let your logical mind get too involved in how this would work.
I confess that I’ve never been enthusiastic about books where someone gets
trapped in a computer. I guess I know a little bit too much about
computers to see them in magical terms or to picture a virus as a snarling
beast. (The only such book for which I thoroughly bought the premise
was Heir Apparent,
by Vivian Vande
Velde, because in that book it was a video game of the future directly
connected to the user’s brain. Also, they didn’t start picturing
the computer’s hardware, just the people who were already in the game.)
Despite the plot not working well for me, I did enjoy this book.
Sylvie, the princess, is a delightful person to spend time with, and the
idea of living book characters is fun to play with, too. It was amusing
when they added a yoga teacher into the book to help the characters deal
with their stress. Sembach library customers, I think you can enjoy
this book without having read the first one.
Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.
All rights reserved.
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