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Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 2: The Victim Syndicate by James Tynion IV, et. al.
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The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman and George Guidall (Narrator) (re-read)
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Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
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Heartstopper: Volume Four by Alice Oseman
Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed
Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy
Into the Woods by J. Torres and Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)
The Marvelous by Claire Kann
Murder Is No Picnic by Amy Pershing and Patti Murin (Narrator)
My Dress-Up Darling, Volume 3 by Shinichi Fukuda
Noragami: Stray God, Volume 14 by Adachitoka
Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods by Catherynne M. Valente
Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
Pint of No Return by Dana Mentink and Stephanie Nemeth-Parker (narrator)
Poultrygeist by Eric Geron and Pete Oswald (Illustrator)
The Sacred Bridge by Anne Hillerman
The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly and Emily Durante (Narrator)
Spy x Family, Volume 6 by Tatsuya Endo
The Suite Spot by Trish Doller
This Is a Book for People Who Love Birds by Danielle Belleny and Stephanie D Singleton (Illustrator)
Yokohama Station SF National by Yuba Isukari, Tatsuyuki Tanaka (Illustrator), and Stephen Paul (Translator)

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The Marvelous: 10/09/22

The Marvelous

The Marvelous by Claire Kann (2021) is an updated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (1964) but written for a YA audience. Except this one removes the parents, plays up the horror of that sort of situation, and gives a cast of much nicer participants.

Jewel Van Haren, the Willy Wonka of this novel, started a social media video site called Golden Rule. Members have to show their faces and the site is heavily monitored to keep out bullies. At the height of her popularity, the founder disappeared.

Upon her reappearance she announced a special weekend at her ginormous estate in the North Bay. Specific users were invited to play a game where two winners would get half a million in cash.

Six players, each assigned a color. They're cut off from the outside world and are at the beck and call of specially programmed tablets. They have a riddle presented as recipe to solve as well as challenges that happen throughout the day.

Over all the challenge has an Alice in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass atmosphere and illogical logic to it. But the atmosphere is that of a horror novel, like And Then There Were None (1939).

The novel also sits in the Road Narrative Spectrum. As these are invited guests, the new elite of Golden Rule, they are privileged travelers (00). Their destination is home (66), both Jewel's home and as the game goes more and more off the rails, the desire to be able to go home. Their route is the maze as the house is confusingly built, the riddles themselves are confusing, and combined, the two are dangerous (CC).

Five stars

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