Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Phantom Limb

The Phantom Limb
by William Sleator and Ann Monticone

Isaac is the new kid in town. His mother, Vera, is in the hospital with a mysterious illness, and the only person left to care for Isaac is his distant grandfather. Friendless and often alone, Isaac loses himself in his collection of optical illusions, including a strange mirror box that he finds in his new house, left behind by the previous tenants. Designed for amputees, it creates the illusion of a second limb.

Lonely Isaac wishes someone would reach out to him, and then someone does—a phantom limb within the mirror box! It signs to Isaac about a growing danger: someone who has murdered before and is out to get Vera next. The only way Isaac can solve the mystery and save his mother is with the help of the mirror box. But can he trust the phantom limb? (description from

This was a book that had a really unique and potentially awesome premise, but the execution fell a little flat. There were parts that were confusing and not too well explained. Most of the characters were one-dimensional and in some cases a little unbelievable. Plot devices were dropped in deus ex machina style to make things work. It's a real shame that this was William Sleator's last book (he passed away in August).

Full disclosure: review copy received to review for SLJ

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