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Book cover of Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck (Circles of Heck Series #2)

Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck (Circles of Heck Series #2)

by Dale E. Basye, Bob Dob

Published: July 2009
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780375840777






Synopsis of Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck (Circles of Heck Series #2)

Welcome to Rapacia, where the greedy kids go.

When Milton escapes from Heck in a soul balloon made of old clothes, Marlo is the only Fauster child left to take the blame. Bea “Elsa” Bubb, the Principal of Darkness, sends her straight to Rapacia, the circle where greedy kids are tormented by glimpses of a just-out-of-reach, glittering shopper’s paradise called Mallvana. Marlo soon falls under the sway of Rapacia’s assistant principal, a grinning metal rabbit known as the Grabbit that seems to have plans of its own.

Meanwhile, back on the Surface, Milton has his own problems. He is determined to get in touch with Marlo and help her find a way out of Heck. But it’s hard to concentrate when his body and soul don’t seem to hold together the way they used to. Will Milton ever reach Marlo? And if he does, will they both end up as pawns in the Grabbit’s mysterious game?

Children's Literature

Milton Fauster sets up a meeting with a literary lawyer to supposedly pitch a book called Heck. "Sounds dark who's your audience?" replies the lawyer. Exactly what should be asked of the author of the book Rapacia. The second in the "Heck Series," returning character Milton has escaped from Heck, a reform school in the underworld. His sister Marlo has not. And therein lies the foundation for the loosely woven puns-for-laughs adventure. However, the middle school readers of this series may very well find the plays on words over their collective heads, beginning with the protagonist's name, a combining of John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost and Goethe's Faust, continuing with the netherworld reform school's Principal, Bea "Elsa" Bubb, and a demon, Cardinal Richelieu. Does the nine to twelve year old really get this: "Curiosity killed the catatonic," "Scents and Sensibility," "the River Styx," "Seven Deadly Cinemas," "Cohibas"—perhaps Mr. Basye was channeling juvenile adults as an audience. The authors Lemony Snicket and J.K. Rowling utilized this conceit much more cleverly. This story continues the plight of a brother and sister duo who were killed when a marshmallow rabbit exploded and end up at Heck, not quite the Heaven Milton assumed he would enter. Now good boy Milton, aided by a "soul balloon" and back on earth, is trying to get his petty thief sister safely back with him, but Marlo is much more interested in pilfering from Mallvana, a shopping delight for greedy kids which leaves everyone wanting more, and trying to please Grabbit, a large metal rabbit (again, the rabbit symbol) who wants her to steal the Hopeless Diamond. Does she succeed?Does Marlo ever get out of Heck? Will there be another interminable sequel? Reviewer: Jacquie Skurla

About the Author, Dale E. Basye

Dale E. Basye is a writer and creative director for several children’s Web sites. He lives with his wife and son in Portland, Oregon. Please visit him on the Web at www.wherethebadkidsgo.com.

From the Hardcover edition.

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