Sunday, February 24, 2013

Slim but poweful

BLACK HELICOPTERS by Blythe Woolston. Candlewick Press, March 2013.

It would be simple to underestimate the wallop (thanks, Ernie Cox for the perfect word here) of this slim novel. Valley, short for Valkyrie, has grown up literally underground with her brother Bo. Their father works for "patriots" fashioning bombs that will eliminate Those People, judges, fist responders, government agents, and the like. Bo and Valley have been raised to fear Those People and to participate in the "messages" sent by their father and the people for whom he works. Now Valley and Bo are on their own. Who can they turn to for shelter? What are they willing to do to survive? Woolston's narrative moves back and forth in time, a technique that heightens the already elevated suspense of the novel as it hurtles toward it shattering denouement.

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