Delaney, Joseph. I am Alice.
3 September 2013, Greenwillow Books
Alice knows that once she retrieves the dagger Dolorous from the Dark, Tom will have to use it to cut out her heart in order to defeat the Fiend. Despite this, Alice journeys into the Dark, seeking aid from Pan and accepting it from Thorne, the dead former apprentice of Grimalkin. The path to the blade is fraught with peril and lots and lots of blood. Alice recounts many of the incidents in her past that have lead her to this moment, from being cared for by Agnes, being handed over to Bony Lizzie, defeating a number of evil characters. We start to understand her a little more, and feel even worse that her death is imminent, even though she has used so much magic by the end of the book that she is in danger of going over to the dark anyway.
Strengths: Every time one of these books comes out, I start reading it with a feeling of disappointment-- why is the story not advancing? Why all of this back story? And then I end up loving the book and being very interested in the motivation of the characters. For my students, I'm sure the appeal is the cutting off of thumbs, summoning demons, and the blood sucking skelts, but these books are fascinating on many levels.
Weaknesses: Alice's accent seems to come and go, which is slightly grating, but once again, this is a good addition to the series!
The movie, The Seventh Son, comes out on 17 January 2014! Probably too scary for me to watch!