From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6–Mystery and adventure entwine in this second book in the series. Alexa and her odd companions (two men, one of whom is two feet tall; a squirrel; a wolf; a hawk; and a giant) share suspenseful and horrific experiences, such as escaping the Black Swarm (hundreds of deadly bats) and running from zombielike ogres on flame-covered hills with only jagged rocks and the Lonely Sea below. Dangerous scenes such as these lend excitement and fear as the group attempts to defeat Abaddon, an evil ogre who asserts his murderous will through lesser ogres and bats while chained in a great pit at the edge of the Tenth City. Carman provides enough background information for those who have not read the first installment. The text is poetic, full of childlike wonder, and well written, but the occasional lapse in action may make this novel unsuitable for some reluctant readers. These adventures seem daunting at times to mischievous Alexa, but fantasy fans will eagerly join in her quest.–Jessi Platt, Auburn Public Library, AL
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Sometimes it makes sense to go back to the first book in a series, rather than start in the middle. In this series for young adults, Alexa and her friends have faced evil before and prevailed. In this book, in which they face new dangers, having read the earlier work provides definite advantages. Aasne Vigesaa brings a sense of adventure and enthusiasm to her narration. She keeps the tone light and upbeat even when the odds facing these young adventurers seem overwhelming. A variety of accents and cadence helps differentiate her characters. Vigesaa draws out the drama and suspense of the plot and keeps the story at a strong pace. J.E.M. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine