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Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2013 Apparently, there’s simply no end to the dastardly plots to rule the world that are inspired by quantum physics. In this middle-grades mystery debut, mad scientist S. Pangborn Perry, PhD, riffs on “quantum entanglement,” a scientific concept that explores the strange behavior of some subatomic particles to remain connected in spite of distance. Couldn’t this phenomenon also work between twins? Especially between twins as creepily connected as Edgar and Allan Poe, the great-great-great-great grandnephews of the American master of creepiness? And since no distance is too great to affect the bond, couldn’t one dead twin be used to communicate from beyond the grave? And wouldn’t this allow somebody to control the world? Determined to find out, Perry has been following the Poes since childhood, and now he lures them and their kindly aunt and uncle (guardians since the untimely and—egad!—orchestrated deaths of the twins’ parents in a rocket launch) to a phony tourist attraction where he’ll commit the murder and commence the experiments. The devilishly clever twins, though, prevail—as well they must if they are to reach Volume Two of the series. This opening act is a loose-jointed affair that painstakingly exposes its clues and explains its jokes, while bumbling through wacky school mayhem and near-tender family bonding. Serious mystery fans will have no patience with the premature revelations, but struggling readers who need guidance through the genre may appreciate the checkpoints along the way. Perry’s on the loose and the original E. A. Poe is sending misspelled messages from the Great Beyond, so check your fortune cookies and license plates for hints of what lies ahead. EB - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2013 Gr 4–7—As the great-great-great-great-grandnephews of the renowned horror writer, seventh-grade twins Edgar and Allan do their best to live up to his sinister reputation. Whether creating "The Pit and the Pendulum"-inspired Halloween trap or a grotesque rearrangement of the biology class skeleton, the boys use their mental powers to astonish their classmates and dismay their teachers. Their amazing skills have also attracted the attention of evil Professor Perry. After engineering their expulsion from school, he kidnaps their cat, leaving clues that will lure the boys cross-country to his Kansas OZ-itorium Theme Park, which celebrates the L. Frank Baum tale. The Professor idolizes the Wizard of Oz, whom he claims is among the world's great villains. Just as the Wizard used Dorothy and her friends to eliminate his rival and dominate Oz, the Professor intends to use the twins' powerful telepathic link to exchange information between this world and the afterlife, giving him control of both spheres. Unfortunately, this will involve killing one of the boys. The twins' efforts to thwart the evil genius are encouraged by supernatural messages from Edgar Allan Poe himself, somewhere in the Great Beyond. Interdimensional communication is unreliable, and the messages are often misleading. Can Edgar and Allan save the world? While the convoluted plot is often amusing, the twins are not particularly likable. They use their superior intelligence to manipulate others, and their "pranks" are often vicious and destructive. Authority figures like teachers are clueless or corrupt, while the twins' aunt and uncle blithely ignore the nasty practical jokes and cruel comments. An additional choice where series fiction is in high demand.—Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.