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From Brick and Darkness by JL Sullivan




I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for a review. The author also penned an excellent guest post about the antagonist from this book.


Without further ado, the review.


 
Adolescent readers and the young at heart will have difficulty putting down this twisty tale and be more careful about what they wish for after finishing it.

Have you ever wanted to have three wishes granted by a genie from a bottle? I have. I've also spent hours considering how to word my wishes so a trickster djinn couldn't turn my heart's desires into nasty hexes.


But what if you encountered a genie only interested in granting your deepest, darkest desires? What if the genie decided how to interpret those wishes and had no scruples in making them come true?


This is the premise for JL Sullivan's YA debut From Brick and Darkness, a dark and whimsical story that breathes new life into the age-old adage be careful what you wish for. Sullivan’s debut has garnered several awards, and I can understand why. It's a real page-turner with a sympathetic protagonist, a well-characterized supporting cast, and a genuinely gnarly antagonist.


The protagonist even has a cool name: Bax. I knew the handle was short for something, but I couldn't come up with it. I have to admit it kept me curious. I slapped myself on the forehead when his mother called him Baxter—duh. Not only does the kid have a cool name, I think most readers will find him a pretty cool person too. Of the many challenges facing Bax, none of the kids at school find him cool except for his best friend Jason.


The plot is pretty trippy in places. Just when you think you know what is going to happen next, Sullivan executes a nice twist. He pulls off several nice twists near the end to keep the reader guessing exactly how the yarn will conclude. Highly recommended.



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