Review: Malice

Posted on February 1, 2010

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Malice
By Chris Wooding
Illustrated by Dan Chernett
Scholastic Press
October 2009
384 pages

It began as an urban legend. Find a copy of the underground comic book, “Malice”. Gather the necessary potion ingredients, set them on fire, and repeat six times, “Tall Jake, take me away!” Then the sinister comic book villain, Tall Jake will appear and abduct you into the realm of Malice.

Seth and Kady dismissed the legend until their friend Luke disappears. Their suspicions turn to horror when they find Luke in the pages of the comic book. Seth dives in to figure out what happened to his friend. He discovers a multi-layered underworld full of mechanical creatures and terrifying traps. He also finds lost kids wandering the levels of Malice, hiding in terror from the freakish critters. All of them are prisoners in a zone of danger, doom, and death. Meanwhile back in the so-called real world, Kady is pursued by a band of creepy characters that are somehow connected to Malice.

Chris Wooding has created a mind-bending adventure into a frightening fantasy world. This is Alice in Wonderland meets Dante’s Inferno with a Marvel Comics flair where the deadliest scenes are played out in comic book panels. However Dan Chernett’s black & white illustrations don’t do justice to Wooding’s description of the malevolent monsters. Nonetheless, Malice is a breath-taking, action-packed page turner that will leave readers wanting more long before the cliffhanger ending.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Peggy Tibbetts

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