Sabriel - Garth Nix
A very creative story, the world is split by an ancient wall between the technologically inclined Ancelstier and the Old World. Sabriel, the eponymous protagonist, is one of the few people who has the right to move between worlds. Raised on the mundane side of the wall, she is the daughter of the Abhorsen, the individual tasked with using the power of necromancy to set the dead to sleep and send them back into the world of the dead. When her father disappears, Sabriel must take up the bells of a necromancer, cross the wall, and try to find her father before his remaining binding spells crumble and release the dead they bind. Magic in the book is strongly tied to necromancy, and there is a lot of mysterious and interesting mythos and mythology built into the world. A fast and interesting read. While the sequels become somewhat darker, this book is relatively light in tone.The world is again interesting, but I found the characters somewhat flat and difficult to relate to or like. Sabriel is not an unbelievable or unlikeable character. She comes across as very cold and very reserved--which, in fact, she is. I found myself totally unable to relate to or like Touchstone, one of the other major characters, and only mildly liked Sabriel. As in most of Nix's books, it is very difficult, even late in the novels, to tell allies from antagonists, and the element of humanity and warmth is definitely missing. However, the overall plot is so creative and interesting that the flatness of the characters is relatively unimportant.