Margaret's Reviews > The Night Children

The Night Children by Kit Reed
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's review
Dec 02, 08

bookshelves: children-s-and-ya-fiction, fantasy-and-science-fiction, from-library, authors-qrs
Read in November, 2008

Jule Devereaux has been trapped for the night inside the WhirlyFunRide in the gigantic Castertown MegaMall, after she quarreled with her aunt and then her aunt disappeared, just as her parents did years ago. As Jule is about to find out, the mall is much more than it seems, and during the night, it is ruled by gangs of children, abandoned children and runaways who live in secret places in the mall. Or perhaps the children don't really rule here: perhaps the true ruler is the sinister billionaire Amos Zozz, who runs Castertown and the mall and has his own secret plans.

The setting is intriguing, and I liked the complex interactions of the different groups within the mall: the children's gangs, Jule the newbie, Zozz the great and powerful and his daughter Isabella, the corporate Zozzco employees, and the mysterious outsider Lance. The social commentary, about the dangers of capitalism and the ethical treatment of people, is a little unsubtle, and Zozz himself was so over the edge that I found him unbelievable. Yet the plot is sufficiently tense and fast-paced that I was absorbed to the end. I'd be interested to know if there's to be a sequel, since some plot threads are left hanging.
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