Author: Daniel & Dina Nayeri | Website
Publication Date: August 25th, 2009
My Interest: Cover love
Age Group | Genre: YA| angels-demons/fantasy
Series: Yes. 1st in the Another list
If you don’t know the classic Faust story or haven’t heard of Marlowe, it won’t ruin your read of Another Faust. In fact, not knowing the original story might actually enhance your reading because you’d be in for the surprise. I had originally picked up the second novel in the Nayeri’s Another series, but because I’m particular about my reads (have to start with the first in the series & I always finish it out, even if I don’t like the first) I returned the second novel to the library and picked up this one.
The gist of the story is this: Five different children from around the world vanish from their homes in one single night. We meet them again years later as they begin the school year at the prestigious Manhattan Marlowe school where their arrival seems to cause all sorts of interesting misfortune among their classmates. We learn that the five children—Victoria, Belle, Bicé, Christian, and Valentin—have been given “gifts” by their governess, Madame Vileroy, which they then use to rise to the top of Marlowe. Their abilities seem simple at first, things such as cheating, hiding, stealing, and lying, but as the novel progresses, there’s a much deeper secret to be discovered. And as the book jacket sums it up….It’s a modern day retelling of the Faustian bargain story with some strong lessons about indulgence versus redemption, as well as the cut-throat world of high school competition.
Yes, I am that person who judges a book by its cover. I think covers are extremely important because they are the first thing you see about a book, and they are often what pulls me in to even pick up the book. Another Faust has this dark, mysterious look to it, and the teens on the cover simply look like they are all hiding something. I had to know what it was.
This was a hard book to get into a first because it is so mysterious. The prologue sucked me into the children’s lives but then left me wondering and a bit confused, and for the most part, the first half of the book did the same. I think because I already knew the Faust story, I kept waiting for the big reveal that the chapters seemed to be leading up too. But unfortunately, that didn’t happen until very near the end. However, (no spoilers here!) I’m not quite sure I’m entirely happy with the ending. There just seemed to be such a build up through the entire novel that the ending almost felt like a let down.
I think that Another Faust, or at least snippets of it, could definitely be something I could use in the classroom to compare to the classic Faust story should I ever teach it. There isn’t any language, sex, or rock n roll, and I really love the symbolism and lessons that can be pulled from the story.
It’s entirely different than anything I’ve read before, and though it initially confused me because there is such an air of mystery at the beginning, I just had to keep reading.
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