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The Book of Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick

The Book of Dead Days (2003)

by Marcus Sedgwick

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5522318,107 (3.54)24

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With the help of his servant and an orphan girl, a magician named Valerian searches graveyards, churches, and underground waterways for a book he hopes will save him from a pact he has made with evil.
  lkmuir | Dec 1, 2015 |
The characters, the plot, the 'twist' was all pretty cliche. I felt nothing for any of them. ( )
  LopiCake | Mar 25, 2015 |
This book has elements of Dicken's 'Christmas Carol' and conjured up a rather TimBurton-esque storyscape for me. I joined in the adventure slinking in the dark and narrow alleyways, prowling in dim light -- searching, and cloistered somewhere dank and cramped. It is a story of what we sometimes are willing to sell our souls for -- and how well we honor our part of the deal when destiny / fate / the devil comes collecting. Perhaps, this was meant to be introspective or philosophical, and it was somewhat for me. Despite the rather morbid title, it was an enjoyable and good read.
  MomsterBookworm | Jul 14, 2014 |
While I found parts of this books fascinating with Keplar's scientific experiments and the explainations of magicians illusions, I found the characters either naive and boring, cruel and boring, or rude and boring.

Nope to our collection. ( )
  carolvanbrocklin | Feb 9, 2014 |
I 'accidentally' picked up The Book of Dead Days last night -- as I usually do, just intending to read a couple of pages. Even when I knew I'd have to get up early in the morning, I was sucked in. It's a very quick read, and a compelling one, although the cliffhangers at the end of chapters, coupled with very short chapters, felt a little cheap... At any rate, it hurtles along at a good pace. It doesn't solve everything, either, so I'll be looking for the sequel sometime soon.

The characters are reasonably compelling -- you're never quite sure whether to trust them or not, or why. Valerian, in particular. I didn't know how to feel about the ending. He deserved it, and yet... At the last moment, he does redeem himself.

Everything seems somehow a little bit too easy, at times, and while the story is compelling as you're reading, I'm not sure how long it'll stick with me. It seemed to be over too fast, and with -- as I said -- a lot of things not resolved, e.g. Boy's identity, the Phantom, whatever happened between Valerian and Kepler.

Still, fun. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
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Darkness. Two hours to midnight.
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Disambiguation notice
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AR 4.7, 9 Pts
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385747047, Paperback)

The days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve are dead days, when spirits roam and magic shifts restlessly just beneath the surface of our lives. A lot can happen in the dead days. A magician called Valerian must save his own life within those few days, or pay the price for the pact he made with evil so many years ago. But alchemy and sorcery are no match against the demonic power pursuing him. Helping him is his servant Boy, a child with no name and no past. The quick-witted orphan girl Willow is with them as they dig in death-fields at midnight, and are swept into the sprawling blackness of a subterranean city on a journey from which there is no escape.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:17 -0400)

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With the help of his servant and an orphan girl, a magician named Valerian searches graveyards, churches, and underground waterways for a book he hopes will save him from a pact he has made with evil.

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