CM . . .
. Volume X Number 9 . . . . January 2, 2004
Beneath the Mask begins where Escape the Mask left off and chronicles the journey of the main characters of Coriko and Pippa and their small group of followers as they attempt to survive on their own. The book begins with the group’s trying to make it to the ship and with it, they believe, their freedom. Pippa’s recurring dream of “ashes and fire” foreshadows what will follow as the group is captured by the Spears. In order to survive and more important keep their mate alive, Coriko and the other males must become what they hate most.
David Ward has succeeded in continuing the story and recreating the characters introduced in Escape the Mask. Instead of focusing only on their freedom, Ward succeeds in having the characters challenge what they know and ultimately who they are. As they struggle, Ward has them mature with a childlike innocence. It is in this innocence that it becomes unbelievable that these children can survive on their own. To compensate, Ward fittingly has the focus shift to the character of Tia who, in this book, truly comes into her own and who is the one who is able to realize the reality of their situation. It is also Tia that makes the ultimate sacrifice, and, in order for the story to be believable, it cannot be anyone else.
This is a good read which, in true sequel fashion, answers some but not all of the questions. Ward succeeds in drawing in his readers and leaving them wanting more.
Christina Pike, an English teacher and Resource Person at Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts, NL, has been working at the Department of Education, Evaluation, Testing and Certification Division as a Consultant during the 2003-04 school year.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.