Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Okay, I've stalled doing reviews for a while now. Over a week, in fact. But it's time I reviewed a very solid book, a very solid YA fantasy, and the finale of Robert Liparulo's excellent Dreamhouse Kings series. This one's called Frenzy, and it earns its title easily.

Honestly, I don't know how to explain this one. Anything I say will be loaded with spoilers from previous books. If you've read them, you know where the Kings are when this book begins, and if you haven't, then it would take too long to explain anyway. So I'm just going to say that it's everything you've come to expect in terms of suspense and more besides. It's got more action than any other book in the series, and things are closed off well while leaving the world open for readers' imaginations to ponder the future.

If you haven't heard of Dreamhouse Kings, then I'll try to sum it up for you. Take LOST, except make everybody a family, change the island to a house, change the smoke monster to... actually, that's a spoiler, and throw in some Back to the Future-esque, headache-enducing time travel conundrums, and you've at least got some idea of what's going on. The six-book series is really just a really long serial novel, as one book flows into the next seamlessly and without any sort of time gap.

Now, for people who know the series, Frenzy is clearly chock-full of stuff Liparulo has been dying to write, stuff that could only be achieved in the Dreamhouse Kings universe. The six-book length has given him the ability to explore a myriad of possibilities, and one in particular is quite hard-hitting, especially for a YA book. This is a fantastic effort from the author, and it makes me happy to see a series written quickly, economically (even with six books), and yet thoughtfully as well.

Dreamhouse Kings is a series that parents can read with their children without worrying, and one that will make the children eager to read more. It should inspire conversations, many of which will be about time travel and circular in nature, but it should also make one think about the courage displayed in the face of truly frightening and overwhelming circumstances. All in all, I'm pleased with Robert Liparulo for telling an interesting and complex story in an accessible, fun way.

My rating: 9.5/10

Coming Soon: IT

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