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Publisher's Summary

Step Fletcher, his pregnant wife DeAnne, and their three children move to Steuben, North Carolina, with high hopes. But Step's new job with a software company turns out to be a snake pit, and 8-year-old Stevie's school is worse. As Stevie retreats into himself, focusing more and more on a mysterious computer game and a growing troop of imaginary friends, the Fletchers' concern turns to terror. Young boys, whose names match a list of Stevie's nonexistent friends, have mysteriously vanished from Steuben. And as evil strikes out from the most trusted corners, it's suddenly clear that Stevie is next on the list.
©1992 Orson Scott Card; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews



Audie Award Winner, Science-Fiction, 2005
"Card skillfully uses terror as a background to everyday family life. For Stephen King fans and those who like their suspense mixed with the supernatural." (Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Dave on 01-03-06

A knockout

This book knocked me out with a roundhouse hook that left me down on the canvas, seeing only stars. I won't say anything more to ruin your own experience, but the chills ran up and down my spine and I just said over and over, "Omigod, omigod, omigod."

The pace of this book is admittedly slower than most. In fact, quite a bit so. There's comparatively little "action" as compared to a lot of day-to-day stuff, but there's tension building all the time. And most books of this type need a solid grounding in day-to-day stuff to make the rest work.

Yes, there is a lot about Mormon life, but that is true to the characters. It is a major part of their personalities. This book is no tract for that particular religion. In fact, there's a particularly unlikeable Mormon character. I wonder if some people have a prejudice about reading a lot about religious details. Grisham details a lot about being a lawyer. Cook a lot about being a doctor. The list could go on and on about detailed books of one type or another. Why are detailed non-religious lives ok, but religious ones are not? And just for the record, I'm a non-believer.

So if any religious talk annoys you or you require a lot of action, then this may not be your cup of tea. But if you're willing to have patience for a big payoff, then I think you'll find it worthwhile.

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14 of 15 people found this review helpful


By Pen Addict on 02-01-05

The best from Orson S. Card yet!

To me this is the greatest of all his books that I've read; it's story is layed out in a meticulous and slow manner which shows how he must have enjoyed the characters themselves and how his creations evolved and interacted. It is also very cleverly written and scary too. It reminds me of the movie 'Unbreakable' by M. Night Shayamalan; he also masters the art of slowly and elaborately spinning out a story yet keeping the reader/viewer intensely interested. Highly recommended.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By S D ORR on 04-17-06

Lost Boys

I am a great fan of Orson Scott card and he his near the top of my personal list of favourite (living) authors but this novel is not one of his greatest but still a highly enjoyable listen.

It is difficult describe what classification to put on this novel in because it is not simply a Science Fantasy as catalogued but it neither is it a crime thriller, ghost story or a moral values insight novel like to kill a Mocking Bird but it as elements of all of these.

At its core is a Mormon Family and how they hold their family and religious convictions together against a slowly tightening noose of evil influences. The characters are introduced like the current in a long winding river, some lead you into small eddies that go nowhere, others into small whirlpools that disorientate you and yet others feed out small tributaries the sweep you faster towards your final destination.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Wendall on 09-02-09

Tedious in the extreme

I read other reviews of this and thought I might like it (being a fan of Orson Scott Card) but here I am, more than half way through it, struggling to get enough enthusiasm up to listen to it. Card is a Mormon and in this novel, presents a clear description of Mormon duties and responsibilities... but help me, Step and Deanne are just too reasonable for words. Goodness knows when the action starts, so far all we have had is Step dragging his family across the USA to a terrible job, where people treat them terribly, and they behave in a calm and considered way. If that had been my husband, I would have walloped him by now. I assume, from other reviews things start to happen nearer the end of the book, but I really can't be bothered to struggle through for the last few chapters. I'm off to download another Audible title instead!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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