Monday, September 12, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Inquisitors Assistant by Chris Moriarty

The Inquisitor's Apprentice
I know you probably thought I forgot, but no, I've sort of...well, procrastinated. There I said it. I'm not proud. Soo without further flimsy excuses the winner of Nate Rocks the World is... Mary Aalgaard.

Release Date: 10/3/2011
About The Book: Being an Inquisitor is no job for a nice Jewish boy. But when the police learn that Sacha Kessler can see witches, he’s apprenticed to the department’s star Inquisitor, Maximillian Wolf. Their mission is to stop magical crime. And New York at the beginning of the twentieth century is full of crime, with magical gangs ruling the streets from Hell’s Kitchen to Chinatown.
      Soon Sacha has teamed up with fellow apprentice Lily Astral, daughter of one of the city’s richest Wall Street Wizards—and a spoiled snob, if you ask Sacha. Their first case is to find out who’s trying to kill Thomas Edison.
      Edison has invented a mechanical witch detector that could unleash the worst witch-hunt in American history. Every magician in town has a motive to kill him. But as the investigation unfolds, all the clues lead back to the Lower East Side. And Sacha soon realizes that his own family could be accused of murder! 

First Line: The day Sacha found out he could see witches was the worst day of his life.

One Great Line: He examined him like a collector classifying an exotic beetle. (69)

Awesome Passage: "There was a grim rumble of satisfaction in his voice. You couldn't really call it a purr. It was more like the sound a lion might make when it glimpsed a particularly tender-looking gazelle." (73)

What Others Are Saying: 
“Mixing Steampunk, Kabbalists, a doughty young Jewish boy, a fearless girl, and an alternate history of New York and some of its more famous residents . . . what’s not to like? If you’re still in doubt, flip through the Geyer illustrations, and you’ll fall right into The Inquisitor’s Apprentice.” —Robin Hobb, New York Times bestselling author of the Farseer Trilogy and the Rain Wilds Chronicles

The author employs rich language and syntax that please the ear and touch the senses, making it all come alive, especially the very real magic of New York City itself.A marvelous, mystical romp that doesn’t ignore reality. A hint of a possible sequel whets readers’ appetite for more: Yes, please!” — Kirkus (starred review)

What I Thought: Moriarty artfully submerges the reader into 1800 New York, complete with gangs, cultural diversity, carriages and crowded tenements. Sacha can see magic and finds that this ability causes conflicts with his religious beliefs and family loyalties. I like the Jewish culture that is juxtaposed with magic and early inventions. When Moriarty pit Edison and Houdini against one another it makes for an intriguing alternate history. What I liked most was how the author illustrated the coming together of multiple cultures painting a complex example of the "melting-pot", where people evolve borrowing from each other's rich legacies. I loved this! (Digital galley from publisher.)

Author:  Chris Moriarty       
Author Website
Inquisitors Website
Agent: Eddie Snieder with JaBberwacky Literary Agency
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

When: "I actually didn’t start writing, or even imagine being a writer until long after I had graduated from college. I always loved to read novels, and especially fantasy and science fiction. But I never really thought of myself as someone who could actually write one." More here.

Why: "I wrote The Inquisitor’s Apprentice for my son. I was really frustrated because I wanted him to be able to read a fantasy series with a Jewish hero … but there just didn’t seem to be one. The more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. And eventually it bothered me so much that I decided to get off my tukhes and write it myself." More here.

How: "It takes me about a year to write a book. And it’s hard to describe my writing process, partly because it changes with every book I write. Sometimes I wing it, writing the whole book scene-by-scene, and then going back at the end and trying to figure out how it all fits together and make the plot make sense. For other books I outline everything in great detail before I started writing … only to throw the outline out halfway through and end up winging it anyway. And on a few glorious occasions I’ve made an outline and somehow miraculously managed to stick to it from start to finish!" More here.

Biggest Challenge: "Putting my but in the chair and getting started."

Advice to Writers: "Don't Give Up"

What's Next: The Inquisitors Apprentice is the first in a five book series.

Don't Forget to Check Out The Rest of the Marvelous Middle Grade Reviewers. You can find them in my sidebar.


  1. The opening line hooks me COMPLETELY!

  2. It's always inspiring to hear a published author say, "don't give up."

    I've seen the arc of this and wondered if I should try it. Now I'll add it to my TBR list. Thanks, Pam? Is it pubbing soon?

    (And thanks for adding me to your sidebar!)

  3. Thanks for asking Joanne, I added it to the post. It comes out 10/31/11

  4. Wow! This sounds like something I'd really like. I added it right away to my list to read. Thanks so much.

  5. This looks great! And it looks so similar to the Nicholas Flamel series that I thought it was a new installment that I hadn't heard about yet.

    I'll be sure to check it out - thanks for the review!

    Oh, and you won a copy of JACOB WONDERBAR on my blog, Pam! Congratulations! email me your address at ishtamerc (AT) gmail (DOT) com so I can send it to you!

  6. Thanks. And, I'll have to admit that I kinda forgot about this one, too. I'm excited to read this book.


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