Into the Labyrinth
by Roderick Townley
In this second book of the Sylvie Cycle, which began with The Great Good Thing
and continues in The Constellation of Sylvie
, the characters in Sylvies fairy-tale book should be happy to be back in print and living their story oftener than ever, thanks to their storys unheard-of popularity. But they are not content, after all. The increased demands on their performance results in higher levels of stress. So Sylvie uses her connections with the writers subconscious to finagle a few minor rewrites...such as the addition of a shepherd girl who moonlights as a yoga instructor.
Each minor change to the original book creates additional problems. But nothing can prepare the characters in Sylvies book for the grandmother of all changes: being uploaded to the internet. Even the inner space of the writers subconscious was not as weird or as dangerous as cyberspace, especially when a computer virus begins eating away at the fabric of Sylvies world.
Both your imagination and your funny-bone will be tickled as this book explores the weird things that can happen to people who really live and die by the written word, when words start getting changed around...misspelled...and deleted altogether! But be prepared also for a throat-tightening fast ride through a strange world of cookies, hyperlinks, binary pathways and the monsters that dwell in them. The survival of Sylvie and all that she loves will depend on the willpower of a handful of fictional characters, and on a theory developed by a math teacher after his death.
This book has a unique way of making you care about its characters. It makes you think about what happens to all the good people in the books no one reads anymore. And it also puts a new face on the idea of the dearly departed living on in the memories of those who survive them. Writers have responsibility to their characters; and readers do too. I can think of no way to learn these things more interesting and enjoyable than this series whose Kansas-based author started it when his wife asked him to tell her a bedtime story, then made him write it down.
Recommended Age: 12+
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