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Tom Henighan, Ottawa writer and editor, is the author of some 20 published books, including fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Some of his best-known non-fiction titles include two important books on Canadian culture, Ideas of North (1997), and The Presumption of Culture (1996), as well as Coming of Age in Arabia (2004), about the former British Colony of Aden, and a biography of the explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson (2009). He has also published two adult novels (one of them Nightshade, a mystery novel, in 2010), two volumes of short stories, and six YA novels, including Mercury Man (2004), Doom Lake Holiday (2009), and The Boy from Left Field (2012). Tom was one of the (three) founders of ARC poetry magazine, and has published two volumes of poetry, including Time's Fools (2010). His work has been nominated for various awards, including The Seal Books first novel award, the Red Maple Award, the Ottawa Fiction Prize, Shamus Award and the Riesling Award. Henighan was Associate Editor of Ottawa Revue, an influential arts and entertainment journal of the 1970s-80s. In 2008, he was awarded the Victor Tolgesy Prize for lifetime contribution to the arts in Ottawa.
on Dec. 03, 2012 :
Young adult plots often follow a predictable and formulistic pattern, with characters that are less than memorable. The Christmas Demons is full of interesting twists and turns and is anything but predictable. Tom, as the gifted and cursed protagonist, and his sister Kate, are well developed characters whose fate the reader eagerly anticipates following until the end.
The story starts out as a nicely crafted lilt about Irish settlers in Lanark county. This part of the novel is so well laid out that Mr. Henighan could have written a solid novel with this material alone. But then he combines all the traditional elements with a unique and fascinating bit of fantasy, flush with lively Irish mythology. This novel is delightfully dense with lots of fun, action, danger, and characters you really care about-- and perhaps hardest to pull off, it will appeal equally to boys and girls. The writting is superior, and most important to a young adult audience, it is a really good read. I recommend this book very highly.
(reviewed 17 days after purchase)