Hamline News

New Series from MFAC Faculty Laura Ruby

York Laura Ruby 375

York: The Shadow Cipher, by Laura Ruby
Published by Walden Pond Press
Publication date: May 16, 2017
Series: York (Book One)
Hardcover: 496 pages

 
About the Book

It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.

Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.


Some of the critical Praise

"The pleasures of the novel go far beyond the crackling, breathless plot and the satisfaction of watching the puzzle fall into place. The book is shot through with humor, both laugh-out-loud and subtle, and Ruby, whose Y.A. novel Bone Gap won a Printz Award and was a finalist for a National Book Award, takes delight in a beautiful, evocative phrase."  New York Times [ Read full review ]

"In this smart, immersive series starter, Ruby expertly juggles stunning plot choreography, realistic stakes in a captivating fantasy setting, well-wrought characters, and flashes of sharp cultural commentary.” — Booklist (starred review)

“This first volume opens up an ever expanding sense of magic, culminating in a bittersweet ending that promises bigger things to come. The past informs the present as the review informs readers: don’t let this one go.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Ruby’s latest is a high-stakes mystery novel filled with intriguing puzzles, solid world-building, and diverse characters. An engaging series opener that will leave readers eagerly awaiting future installments.” — School Library Journal (starred review)  

Ruby's nuanced trio of protagonists strikes a balance of emotional vulnerability (the twins coping with their grandfather's onset of dementia, Jaime with his father's increasing absence, and all three with the impending loss of their home) and resilience. The equally thoughtful vision of an alternative New York, both historical and present-day, pulsates right off the page, with geography, history, and steampunk-esque machines thoroughly integrated into the thrum of a strange but recognizable city...Weaving one web of secrets even as it works to unravel another, Ruby's story will have both mystery and sci-fi fans reading and re-reading in anticipation of the next installment." —The Horn Book

Named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Summer Reads of 2017

  
About the Author

Laura Ruby is the author of books for adults, teens, and children, including the Printz Award-winning and National Book Award finalist Bone Gap, the Edgar-nominated mystery Lily’s Ghosts, the Book Sense Pick Good Girls, and the acclaimed novels Play Me and Bad Apple. She is on the faculty of Hamline University’s MFA in writing for children and young adults program and lives in the Chicago area. 

You can visit her online at www.lauraruby.com.

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