Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

One night, five children mysteriously disappear from their homes in Paris, Glasgow, Rome, and London. Five years later, the five teenagers and their governess, Madame Vileroy, arrive at an exclusive holiday party in New York. The Faust "family" has just enrolled in Marlowe, a school for elite students, in the middle of the year. They use their "gifts" given to them by Madame Vileroy to rise to suspicious heights at Marlowe. Driven by selfish obsession and making deals with the very devil, the Faust teens draw nearer their goals. That is, until two of them uncover a secret.

Another Faust is an exciting book. The plot draws you in more and more as you read on. During the last few chapters, the book becomes very difficult to put down. I commend the writers on such a well paced build up. Another exceptional aspect of the book's writing is the short "pre-chapters." At the beginning of every chapter, there are a few sentences/paragraphs of italicized writing. They usually do not relate to the story at the present, but over time, their meaning becomes clear. Either that, or they foreshadow a future plot development. The pre-chapters add suspense but also aid understanding. It is a creative, enriching touch.

As mentioned in the plot summary above, the children make deals with the very devil. The devil exploits their weaknesses and desires to coerce them into making deals. This a very interesting concept, although not original to this book (it is not called Another Faust for nothing). There a personal conflict between immediate gratification and redemption. It makes a meaningful story, but sometimes, this one character comes off as downright repulsive. The girl, Victoria, is obsessed with winning. She makes a deal so she can read minds to cheat. She is absolutely soulless. Everything about her revolves around being the best and winning. She can be really obnoxious, but the book would suffer without her presence. If you ever become disgusted with her while you are reading, just keep going. It will get better. Fortunately, not all the characters are as horrible as Victoria.

The fierce faults of Victoria might not upset you. I just felt a little threatened. I mean, honestly, this girl got to make a deal with the devil! And I call myself an evil cousin... I shall have to try harder.

I give Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri a Satanic 4 out of 5 daggers.

Devilishly yours,
Gabriel Gethin

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