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Bugtown
 
 

Bugtown [Kindle Edition]

John McKenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £0.77 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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    Product Description

    Product Description

    Bugtown is a medieval city which has been abducted in its entirety by bugs from the future. The flesh of the inhabitants, who think they're in Limbo, is used by the bugs to feed their young. Corpses from the town are taken into the castle, which humans from the town are never allowed to enter.

    But then chaos and confusion reign when the daylight turns to darkness and monsters appear at the city gates.

    Bugtown is an action packed adventure story about a brother and sister (11 and 14 years old) who find themselves suddenly in what seems to be a completely foreign environment, a medieval city which has been abducted in its entirety by aliens from the future. They are not wearing their normal clothes and certain things about them have been modified. In Bugtown the boy and girl, in the course of their quest to take an alien ‘baby’ from the castle to the city walls, ask and answer the perennial questions of who are they, what are they doing there, and what are the going to do next. It’s a terrific story, both funny and exciting, written primarily for 10 to 14 year olds.

    I was working as a school librarian when I wrote this book and tried it out on students who were given a questionnaire to fill in and were told the book was written by an Alison Main. The reaction I got to this and its companion, In The Land Of The Demon Masters, was the best thing I'd witnessed in a lifetime of writing novels and plays!!

    Gabriella Di Tano of 2M gave it 9 out of ten and commented: I thought the book was well written, funny at times and over all very good because it was exciting and made you want to read on. I had a brilliant ending.

    Semai T. Danha of 2N gave it as 10 out of 10, writing: As good as anything I've ever read. She also commented: I really liked this book. It was both exciting and scary especially the part about the headless man. I wish to read more book by this author.

    Mulaws Kachina of 1M gave it a 9 out of 10 and commented: I thought Bugtown was a very good book to read because it was interesting and funny and when I read the first chapter I wanted to read on. I think Alison Main should be proud to have written such a good book.

    Rochelle McEvoy of 4M gave it a 10 out of 10 and commented: I thought this was really good and funny. I liked especially Robert with his split personality.

    Tom Gray of IB gave it a 9 out of 10 and said it was very enjoyable. He also commented: It was very fluent to read. The words were easy to understand but still it wasn't too childish.I think 11 to 14 year olds would like this the best because it is very easy to understand and it is a new idea (Limbo).

    I've got tons more of this kind of thing!! If you like this book, you will almost certainly like In The Land Of The Demon Masters by the same author.

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 189 KB
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B004XZUE3G
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #488,415 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Starships and Aliens Review 28 May 2011
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Concept/World
    This a children's book written for the 11-14 age range. The setting is a mix of medieval town, aliens and dinosaurs, which I loved - one of the great things about children's fiction is when it jumps out of the box and is truly fantastic.

    Story
    There is certainly plenty of action in this story, which rips along at a good pace. I am still at a loss as to why Robert apparently kept being possessed by the spirit of Robert the Bruce, unsure as to who the King really was and why the Baby had to do what he did at the end of the story. Personally I'm fine with unresolved questions but readers who like all ends neatly tied off in clear explanation may find that unsatisfying.

    Characters
    I felt that Robert was more engaging than Rachel. She seems to be the generic "big sister" while Robert is portrayed in more depth with his problems making him a more sympathetic character. The baby was hilariously obnoxious and the King of the Beggars is a villain in the finest tradition of the Sheriff of Nottingham.

    Presentation
    The cover is amusing and a good fit for the content of the book. There are a few minor editing blarts (they're/their, broken paragraph, passed/past) which did not affect my enjoyment of the story. My Whispernet reader was jumping 12-14 locations at each page turn. I estimated it to be between 30-35,000 words (apologies if my maths is out), which makes it a quick read by adult book standards but a good length for young readers not yet ready to embark on epics.

    Overall *****
    This book made me laugh out loud three times when I was reading, and I was often grinning at the banter and one-liners. I would certainly recommend it to anyone, kid or adult, who likes zany fun in their sci fi. Embrace the "wonderful shambles" and enjoy.
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    0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining. Not perfect, but great fun. 21 April 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Book Review: Bugtown by John McKenzie
    Reviewed by J Bryden Lloyd

    Writing Style - 3.5/5.0 (Good)
    This is a fun book, more than a demonstration of writing prowess, and as such it offers plenty to the younger readers who will undoubtedly have a lot of fun reading it. The narrative is good and flowing, the dialogue between the siblings who are the two main characters is fun, and typical of children in their age-group, although from time-to-time I felt it could have been a little tidier.

    Character Development - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
    At the start it isn't obvious where the characters are meant to go in terms of development. The older sister, although a leading presence, does appear to remain the most two-dimensional of the main characters, while the younger brother claims the lion's share of the work the author seems to put in. Added to this you have the `bugs' of the title, who it seems are not what they appear to be, the baby... who isn't a baby, the beggar... who isn't a beggar, and even Santa makes an appearance, but guess what? Yup! He isn't Santa.
    On top of that lot, the sister appears to be some sort of body-guard at points during the story, while the brother becomes Robert The Bruce incarnate, complete with a craving for - and the ability to wield - a `great big Scottish sword'.
    Each develops in their own way, and although there are occasions where an adult reading this might frown and question what they have read, these characters are built very cleverly to encourage a child's imagination.

    Descriptive - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
    From the start, the author carefully builds the world the children find themselves in, along with the clothing and the events happening around them.
    Read more ›
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
    Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining. Not perfect, but great fun. 21 April 2012
    By J Bryden Lloyd - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Book Review: Bugtown by John McKenzie
    Reviewed by J Bryden Lloyd

    Writing Style - 3.5/5.0 (Good)
    This is a fun book, more than a demonstration of writing prowess, and as such it offers plenty to the younger readers who will undoubtedly have a lot of fun reading it. The narrative is good and flowing, the dialogue between the siblings who are the two main characters is fun, and typical of children in their age-group, although from time-to-time I felt it could have been a little tidier.

    Character Development - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
    At the start it isn't obvious where the characters are meant to go in terms of development. The older sister, although a leading presence, does appear to remain the most two-dimensional of the main characters, while the younger brother claims the lion's share of the work the author seems to put in. Added to this you have the `bugs' of the title, who it seems are not what they appear to be, the baby... who isn't a baby, the beggar... who isn't a beggar, and even Santa makes an appearance, but guess what? Yup! He isn't Santa.
    On top of that lot, the sister appears to be some sort of body-guard at points during the story, while the brother becomes Robert The Bruce incarnate, complete with a craving for - and the ability to wield - a `great big Scottish sword'.
    Each develops in their own way, and although there are occasions where an adult reading this might frown and question what they have read, these characters are built very cleverly to encourage a child's imagination.

    Descriptive - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
    From the start, the author carefully builds the world the children find themselves in, along with the clothing and the events happening around them. The walled town with the castle at its centre is nicely vivid and the varied residents of the town, as well as the children's reactions to them, are nicely defined.
    The banquet hall scene is very well built and described, and the subsequent happenings within it are cleverly entertaining. This leads on to some fast-paced scenes where the author keeps up some quality descriptive whilst keeping the action running.

    Language & Grammar - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
    This is clearly aimed at a young audience and with that in mind, it keeps a rigid level of understanding and a considered language level designed to challenge, but not overwhelm.
    I found a few little foibles and minor technical issues in the grammar. Primarily the creeping use of terms and words more local to the author than to the potential general audience of the book. There were also a handful of editing issues, but these were not significant and not widespread.
    In an ideal world, perhaps anglicising some of the text would make this a more appealing read to a wider audience.

    Plot - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good) - MILD SPOILERS
    Admittedly, the main plot is a little drowned amongst the sub-plots, and there are things that remain frustratingly unexplained, specifically the how and why of what the children are doing there in the first place.
    The supposed `rescue' of the baby turns out to be far more complicated than it sounds, and ends up as a kidnapping, which leads to a kidnapping from the kidnappers, and then the actual rescue by the initial kidnappers, to retrieve the baby from the second group of kidnappers in order to help the baby get back to where he started... are you following this?
    In fact, this is a very entertaining element within the plot, and one that does appear to serve to tie up a few of the loose ends.

    General - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
    Once you get past the opening section of this book, things begin to happen at a reasonably fast pace. No, not everything is explained as you might like, but I don't think this is the point of the story, which takes these two ordinary siblings and throws them into a place where even they don't know what's going on.
    This fact alone makes certain reactions, arguments and events in the story entirely realistic, as the sister's sole purpose is to get home, and the brother just wants to rescue the baby... and occasionally have a big Scottish sword.
    No, this isn't a great work of literature, but it is light-hearted, cleverly original and a lot of fun.

    Worthy of four stars, but I have to admit the brother and the baby characters made this much more fun. I more-than liked this story, so five it is.
    2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Starships and Aliens Review 29 July 2011
    By S. J. MacDonald - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Concept/World
    This a children's book written for the 11-14 age range. The setting is a mix of medieval town, aliens and dinosaurs, which I loved - one of the great things about children's fiction is when it jumps out of the box and is truly fantastic.

    Story
    There is certainly plenty of action in this story, which rips along at a good pace. I am still at a loss as to why Robert apparently kept being possessed by the spirit of Robert the Bruce, unsure as to who the King really was and why the Baby had to do what he did at the end of the story. Personally I'm fine with unresolved questions but readers who like all ends neatly tied off in clear explanation may find that unsatisfying.

    Characters
    I felt that Robert was more engaging than Rachel. She seems to be the generic "big sister" while Robert is portrayed in more depth with his problems making him a more sympathetic character. The baby was hilariously obnoxious and the King of the Beggars is a villain in the finest tradition of the Sheriff of Nottingham.

    Presentation
    The cover is amusing and a good fit for the content of the book. There are a few minor editing blarts (they're/their, broken paragraph, passed/past) which did not affect my enjoyment of the story. My Whispernet reader was jumping 12-14 locations at each page turn. I estimated it to be between 30-35,000 words (apologies if my maths is out), which makes it a quick read by adult book standards but a good length for young readers not yet ready to embark on epics.

    Overall *****
    This book made me laugh out loud three times when I was reading, and I was often grinning at the banter and one-liners. I would certainly recommend it to anyone, kid or adult, who likes zany fun in their sci fi. Embrace the "wonderful shambles" and enjoy.
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