The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day by Christopher Edge
Library ed. ISBN 978-0-525-64641-9 $19.99
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-525-64640-2 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-525-64642-6 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-6
If you’re looking for fresh material for horror stories, look no further than physics. Ten-year-old Maisie, an academically gifted child working on an online college degree, is giddy over the arrival of her double-digits birthday. Or she would be, at least, if her jealous older sister, Lily, weren’t continually raining on her parade. Maisie is about to learn how much bigger her domestic problems can get, as even-numbered chapters recount the unfolding of prosaic my-sister-hates-me reality, while odd-numbered chapters follow her from the moment she discovers that her family is gone and her house is being steadily consumed by dark matter. Edge keeps tight control over this brain-distending plot, as the ordinary birthday converges darkly with alternate Maisie’s increasingly frantic efforts to recall what she’s learned about space-time behavior and black holes while hanging on for dear life to the final shreds of existence. The reveal at the point of the tales’ convergence is a tad dependent on authorial intervention, but it’s also alarming and melancholy. With the assist of a Q&A addendum on “The Science of The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day,” this inventive British import will challenge middle-grade sci-fi readers and family-story enthusiasts alike.