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Vango: Between Sky and Earth

Review

Vango: Between Sky and Earth

VANGO:Between Sky and Earth is a remarkable tale of a priest-wannabe that overnight became a fugitive. Accused for the murder of a Notre Dame priest, Vango is a wanted young man who is ironically highly sought after by notably infamous historical figures, such as Hitler and Stalin, as well as a host of fictional characters. While constantly on the run, Vango is not only in search of the truth about his past, but is also on a mission of revenge.

Popular French playwright and author Fombelle spins an action-packed tale that is a stunning blend of fiction and history. Fombelle opens with a scene that has a Pink Panther feel to it. The French police, who are spearheaded by Superintendent Auguste Boulard, a bumbling Closseau-character, rudely interrupt Vango's priestly ordination. Vango manages to slip away from the hot pursuit by creating chaos followed by a swift climb up the outside of Notre Dame. Although Fombelle's amicable protagonist is an interesting mix of the Pink Panther's "Phantom," Indiana Jones, and Spiderman and the scenes with Boulard are absolutely hilarious, there is a sinister theme that underpins Fombelle's plot. Set during the mid-1930s, Fombelle interjects the realities of Hitler's domination of the world and Stalin's tight-fisted hand.

Popular French playwright and author Fombelle spins an action-packed tale that is a stunning blend of fiction and history.

Intermingling a handful of literary tools, Fombelle's riveting storyline juxtaposes scenes of Vango's whereabouts with the ominous workings of his enemies, as well as the preparations of his trusted friends who are desperately trying to find him. Fombelle uses the element of obscurity and cliffhangers to build tension within each chapter, much of which are resolved in subsequent chapters. To keep his narrative fresh and continually moving, Fombelle also alternates present with past scenes. While many of the past scenes reflect Vango's childhood, Fombelle cleverly incorporates the history of that time period. Great examples include the use of Hugo Eckener, the historic commander of the Graf Zeppelin, who shares his many grueling encounters with the Gestapo, and Setanka (Svetlana), who is appalled that Joseph Stalin is her father.

The first volume of a two-book series, VANGO:Between Sky and Earth is unique and captivating and a great read for both teens and adults.

Reviewed by Anita Lock on October 15, 2014

Vango: Between Sky and Earth
by Timothee de Fombelle

  • Publication Date: October 14, 2014
  • Genres: Mystery
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763671967
  • ISBN-13: 9780763671969