Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri

Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763648345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763648343

Wikipedia: Faust
Amazon: Another Faust
Author's Page: Daniel and Dina

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish - only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary “gifts.”
But as the students claw their way up - reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty - the side-effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins.
At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

I don't want to get into the habit of saying "other people" or "other reviewers", but I have to on this one. A lot of reviewers and readers out there have given this book a bad rep, saying that it is hard to get into or it's boring, or poorly written, this and that, but I have to disagree. The problem with this book is not so much the book's problem, it's just the simple fact that people don't know what to expect going into it. Something that is quite helpful before reading this book is to first read a little bit about Faust and then visit the author's page and read what the author's have to say. Admittedly after reading a couple of chapters, I tilted my head to the side and said, "What?!" But after reading about Faust on wiki and doing a tiny bit of research, I realized this book is a modern dedication to Faust. 

What is Faust? Faust is the protagonist of a German legend in which a man who is a scholar is unsatisfied with his life and makes a deal with the devil in exchange for unlimited knowledge and world pleasures. There are many similar stories out there involving a pact with the devil in exchange for something, but I have never read one that is so unique and actually based upon the real legend! The school that the character's go to is even named after Christoper Marlowe, a writer who made the story famous in his play called The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.

The story itself is very character driven and I accept that the beginning can be a bit confusing, but if you enjoy classic literature or gothic genres, then hang on just a little bit. The characters are interesting and if you've ever wished for more out of your life, more money, beauty, intelligence, popularity, success, or whatever the case may be then you can understand why these characters are so interesting. Madame Vileroy was so incredibly mysterious and gorgeous *in my mind* and almost like a mother to the poor children. Christian, Belle, Bice, Valentin, and Victoria each had their own detailed background and storyline which for me kept me entertained and engaged in the story.

This book is not a light read nor is it cuddly or cute, it is dark and detailed. If you can get past the first couple of chapters it is more enjoyable for those who are not into classic literature. 

I give this book four and a half book geeks. Perhaps if one didn't have to do research to *get* the storyline then I would give it five, but all-in-all it is a phenomenal. 

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