The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray
by Chris Wooding
Publishing Information: Orchard Books: New York, 2004
ISBN: 0439546567 / 0439598516(PB)
Pages: 292 p.
Ages: 12 & Up
In a world similar to Victorian London, Thaniel, a hunter of deadly, demonic creatures called the wych-kin, takes in a lost, possessed girl and becomes embroiled in a plot to unleash evil on the world.
|Subject Headings & Major Themes:
Friendship Great Britian - History FictionHorror/Fantasy
London (England) - History Fiction
Science vs. Belief Systems
Victorian England - Fiction
School Library Journal Best Books, 2004
Smarties Award (Silver), 2004
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2005
BookList, August 1, 2004, p. 1925 (Starred Review)
School Library Journal, August, 2004, p. 132
Discussion Questions and Ideas:
- What is worse, the real or the imagined horrors in the book?
- After reading this story, how did you feel about the city of London?
- Contrast the characters of Cathaline and Alaizabel.
- Can Thaniel trust that the spirits who possessed Alaizabel are truly gone? What do you do when you are not sure whom you can trust?
- Before the true character of Cradle Jack was revealed, how does he compare to Jack the Ripper?
- Describe how something like this could happen today. Who would you think an equal of a wych-kin hunter would be in today's world?
- Describe how you would visualize our world today if the demonic overthrow was successful.
- What would it be like to be controlled the way Alaizabel was?
- How much of our lives do you think are under self-control?
- Do you agree with Dr. Pike, "Mankind is not yet mature enough to take responsibility for its mistakes"?
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Other Books by the Author:
Broken Sky #1, 1999
Broken Sky #2, 1999
Broken Sky #3, 2000
Broken Sky #4, 2000
Broken Sky #5, 2000
Broken Sky #6, 2001
Broken Sky #7, 2001
The Skein of Lament Part 1 , 2003
The Skein of Lament Part 2, 2005
About the Author:
Chris Wooding was born on February 28, 1977 in Leicester, England, an ex-mining town. In his youth, he enjoyed fantasy devouring the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card.
As a teenager he realized that he wanted to be an author himself. He began writing at sixteen and got himself a literary agent at age eighteen. His first novel, Crashing, was accepted for publication a year later and soon after was released for publication.
He studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield, England Now, at the age of twenty-seven, and living in London, he has published sixteen books. He also has several short stories in print. The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray won the Silver at the Smarties Award, and he has written a screenplay for a movie version of the book. His seventeenth book The Skein of Lament part 2 came out in May 2005.
Wooding likes backpacking, touring with his band, horror movies, and listening to ska music.