Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Faust by Daniel And Dina Nayeri

Welcome to the Marlowe School, where some very gifted students are having a hell of a year.

One night, across four cities, five children disappear. Years later, five enigmatic teenagers appear at an exclusive New York holiday party with their strange but beautiful governess, Madame Vileroy. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust children to the elite Marlowe School, where their presence brings unexplainable misfortune.

Using a series of “gifts” given to them by Madame Vileroy, the children are able to soar to suspicious heights at Marlowe. The gifts seem child-like in their simplicity. The governess teaches them to cheat, steal, hide, and lie; ‘harmless’ she calls them, though they are much more. For the vicious over-achiever, reading an unsuspecting mind is simply to cheat. For the reclusive pariah, the gift of stopping time is just another way to hide. And who but an aspiring writer can weave a convincing lie?

Soon, Madame Vileroy’s gifts become darker and more complex. Living in a gray home designed to cultivate and corrupt them, they are enveloped in the side effects of their own addictions. They live cursed lives, making deals with the devil as they claw their way toward their goals….that is until two of them begin to uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins.


I actually finished reading this book a few months ago. After reading this book I decided to go online and check out what other people were saying about it. They were either really for the book or thought it was very boring. For me personally, I actually found the story very intriguing. The idea of five children going missing was a really fascinating plot and made me pick up the book, but Madame Vileroy’s (the main antagonist in the story) true motives made me want to read more. I’d rather not going to details about “her true motives” in case I end up spoiling the story for someone, so I’ll just move on the next topic: the characters.

I’m not sure if you are suppose to hate or “love to hate” these characters but I couldn’t help but love two of them, Victoria and Bice (pronounced: BEE-CHAY). Victoria’s need to be the best was so desperate that it became very comical. She became a caricature of an overachiever. As for Bice, she became the one that I could relate to. She was sort of the voice of reason (and the one who questioned everything). As for the others, they weren’t completely useless. At the end of the story I couldn’t help but feel very sorry for Valentin, Christian, and Belle; especially Valentin because I found that his circumstance was most sad of all (if you focused on the future outcome). What made me sad was Vileroy’s constant warping of the good things he did for people.

I know I keep mentioning how sad everything is but, I consider this story to be a dark comedy of sorts. Even though there are some serious undertones (messages) in this story I found it very comedic. Everything – every situation – up until the end was just very….funny. I don’t know why I found it so hilarious, I guess it’s because I constantly try to find the humor in darkest of situations. I really enjoyed this story and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel Another Pan. If you are considering reading this book please be patient with it, the outcome of the story is so very worth it.

Before I go I just have to mention something. The characters from left to right are: Christian, Victoria, Valentin, Belle, and Bice. Belle and Bice are Identical twins. However, Belle wants to be beautiful; so Vileroy made Belle into an in image of herself (as in Vileroy). What I find while looking at the depiction of the characters in various promotional pictures (especially this one) and the book trailer, Bice is just as beautiful as Belle (possibly even more so). I find it a tiny bit unnerving that she couldn't see that.


wdebo said...

I have read a lot of not so flattering reviews for this book. Nice to know you enjoyed it. I'll be looking into it and hopefully I'll be able to read it too and see what I think ^^

Bookaholic said...

It looks very good! I can't wait to read it! I have actually never heard of it, but I am definitely adding in to be TBR list! Thanks for reviewing!