Thursday, July 9, 2009

Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri + Teaser

Pages: 387

MEET SOME VERY GIFTED STUDENTS WHO ARE HAVING A HELL OF A YEAR.

One night, in cities spanning the globe, five children suddenly vanish. Years later, five enigmatic teenagers make their entrance at an exclusive New York holiday party with their strange but beautiful governess, Madame Vileroy. Rumor and intrigue follow the Faust children to the elite Manhattan Marlowe School, where their very presence brings unexplainable misfortune.
Using "gifts" given to them by Madame Vileroy, these mysterious teenagers rise to suspicious heights at Marlowe. Though at first these gifts seem childlike in their simplicity, allowing the five teens to deftly cheat, steal, hide, and lie, they prove to be much more sinister than just petty tools to get ahead.
A modern retelling of an ancient dilemma, Another Faust re-creates the story of the Faustian bargain. Set in present-day New York but spanning the centuries, it is a chilling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption that begs the question: What would you sell your soul for?

Review:

Victoria cheats. Belle tricks. Valentin lies. Bice hides. Christian steals. Everything and nothing is connected, by the most invisible, inaudible things around the world. The darkness you trust to protect, the governesses--maids, nannies, baby-sitters--you trust to protect your children, is/are what betrays you when the right moment strikes for what they truly want and will give anything to have. The most five differentiated children are brought together by one governess because of their "weakenesses." Every person and nuisance they encounter or interact with is eventually ultimately used as an amusement for Madame Vileroy, no matter how humiliating or degrading it may be for them; beware if Madame gets a laugh out of you mortification of high entertainment of your most embarrasing moment, for she may come back to you for more.
Okay, why is it that the best books always take me forever to read? Of course, I don't know they're the best books until I actually read them. I'm sorry for taking so long with this review, but don't think I won't make up for it; with a teaser further down below. Anywho, back to my review...
The beginning of every chapter, after chapter two, has a specific capture of time in Madame Vileroy's life, mostly, anyway; past or future. At first I did not understand why they were there, until I actually got the whole understanding of the chapter still to come. The book is not neccesarily told in anyone's self perspective but that does not mean their feelings and emotions don't contribute to the narration of the novel. Another Faust tells the children's/teen's stories individually and how, at times, mesh together due to being "siblings." All have their insecurities--no matter how confident they appear--and in that, their weaknesses. Another Faust is the oppisite of every book I've been reading lately, yet the same in different ways. In a lot of books there are the good and the bad--in so many ways. In this book it also has both sides but from the oppisite perspective--the bad one. Instead of the teens talking about the latest fashion for the New York holiday event, they're planning devious schemes, like paying the waiter to introduce himself to their enemy's high-maintence mother as an ex-boyfriend of her daughter, their enemy, just for kicks. Another Faust is inspirational--well, sometimes. It is smoothly written and doesn't frustrate you into skipping pages and finding out the secrets of others, it makes you want to go over every detail just to make sure you don't skip any detail....

Grade: B+/A-
Spoiler Warning!!

Now, for my apology gift:

Teaser:

*Madame Vileroy talking to Christian*

"I have a present for you. You deserve a present." He couldn't feel her breath on his neck, but she was close enough that he should have.
. . .

In the corner of the room stood a young man, or that's what Christian thought, because it was impossible to tell.

He had a blank expression on his face and stood without moving, like a dummy or a toy soldier ready for his orders.

"Who's this?" Christian asked Madame Vileroy.

"Don't you want more practice?" The look of alarm on Christian's face seemed to amuse Madame Vileroy. "Even Valentin is improving. Your sisters are natural at it. But you, you've been quesy."

"The other don't have to hurt people."

"You don't want to be weak, do you, Christian? Victoria cheats, because she has to. Bice hides. Valentin lies. Belle tricks. They do what they do because that's what's best for them. Stealing is no different."

Suddenly, the dummy in the corner began to move. First its shoulder shrugged a bit. Then it looked up at Christian. It went into a fighting stance. It would attack soon.
. . .
Madame Vileroy looked at the figure lying almost lifeless on the ground. Letters began to sear themselves across his forehead untill the word Buddy was clearly visible. Buddy. The dummy rubbed his forehead as if it burned. "There, now he has a name. He can be your buddy."

*About more than a hundred and fifty pages later, Bice is thinking about Valentin, and his new gift from Madame Vileroy.
When Madame Vileroy had first given her the ability to hide, she had wandered into many of the rooms, exploring, with everything frozen. But she did find that room--and five years ago, the person she found inside, gazing through the solitary white window, was someone that looked an awful lot like Buddy.

LiLi