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Starseeker [Paperback]

Tim Bowler
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 15 May 2003 --  
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Book Description

15 May 2003
Luke's father is dead and he feels his mother is moving on too quickly. Since his father's death Luke has changed his priorities, and has fallen into bad company. His new friends persuade him to break into a house when its owner, an unfriendly and unlovable old woman, is out. Once inside he is confronted with the sound of a girl crying, and through a locked keyhole sees a young girl standing alone, crying in despair. Luke becomes drawn into finding out who the girl is, why she is in the house, and why she is so unhappy. Finding the answers will change all of their lives. BLPrize-winning author: Tim Bowler has won the Carnegie Medal, the Angus Book Prize (twice), and the Lancashire Children's Book Award

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (15 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192753053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192753052
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 866,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Bowler was born in Leigh-on-Sea, the setting of his first novel, Midget. After studying Swedish at University, he worked in forestry, the timber trade, teaching and translating before becoming a full-time writer. He has written sixteen novels and won fifteen awards, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal for River Boy.

He has been described by the Sunday Telegraph as 'the master of the psychological thriller' and by the Independent as 'one of the truly individual voices in British teenage fiction'.

Product Description

Amazon Review

A hugely rewarding read, Starseeker is infused with talk of great music and music-playing, extreme bullying and misguided lawbreaking. The intensity and quality of Tim Bowler's characters are superb throughout, and none is better than Luke Stanton, the gifted pianist at the centre of the story.

After two years of grieving for his dead father, also a virtuoso pianist, Luke is still troubled and unable to connect properly with the normality of his new circumstances. He has regrettably become involved in the illegal antics of three local village boys, and their latest plan, to have Luke burgle the house of a rich widow, is doomed to failure. That Luke actually goes through with the plan is madness--but his actions open up a far bigger issue in the shape of a young girl who shouldn't be in the house at all. Skin, the gang leader, knows nothing of Luke's discovery and demands results. His actions are violent and potentially lethal. Luke's own redemption has never seemed so far away.

Luke is expertly drawn--always at war with his mother, his mother's new lover, his friends and his teachers at school and yet, in contrast, is also able to experience great joy from his music and great comfort from the tall, solid, unchanging oak tree in the local woods. It is here that Luke feels most at ease--in the shadow of a tree that he shared with his father when he was alive and now likes to think of as his own.

The book has a magical quality to it, as seen through Luke's inner eye when he experiences his music and feels each note, every background noise, in a tangible way. Starseeker is an intense, emotionally draining reading experience and it should leave a huge impression on the reader. (Age 12 and over.) --John McLay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


full of plot and passion, music and mystery. It's very rare to find a book that moves the heart, touches the spirit and yet remains so well grounded in everyday life. It'll stick to your fingers, this one - don't miss it. (Melvin Burgess )

A memorable book. Tim Bowler's best yet. (David Almond )

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By Sara
Every now and then you read a book which is so compelling, so engrossing that you can't stop for a second. You end up walking around blindly reading as you go. This is why, Starseekers, Tim Bowler's best book so far, should carry a health warning so you can't blame the author when you walk into a lamp post or other large obstacle.
Very basicly, this book is about a boy's (Luke), recovery and acceptance of the death of his father. The emergence of his syneathesia, a violent group of 'friends', his mother's new boyfriend and his conflicting feeling about Mrs Little and her grandaughter all combine to a wonderful and exciting effect.
But, no amount of explanation could do this story any justice whatsover, I found that the characters were so interesting that I began to wonder what happened after the last page. Read it. That's my only advice.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read 7 Feb 2004
I got this book for my thirteenth birthday, more than a year ago. After finishing it for the hundredth time today, I feel I must say something about it. I love it so much. I love when Tim Bowler writes about the music Luke experiences. I'm a pianist myself. I'm even wondering whether I should write personally to him and tell him how much Starseeker means to me. Thank you Tim Bowler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 23 July 2004
By A Customer
I thought this book was amazing! Definitely the best book i've read this year.
It is really emotionally compelling. And challenges the emotions with moments of happiness and beauty and sadness and disbelief.
I would recommend this book to ages 12-13+. As the books theme might not be understood by younger children.
I couldn't put this book down from the first page to the last, it really engrosses you!! Some parts are sad but this story has a happy ending, which is good! I really felt like I was in this book, watching over the characters thinking about what I'd do in their position, and I have found most books don't do that as well Starseeker.
I really enjoyed this book and I'm sure many other people would too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Bowler - You're a star. 7 Sep 2005
Thank you a million times for giving us this great story to enjoy. It is so heartwarming that it even bought tears to my eyes. It truly shows one childs struggle to overcome his grief at the loss of his father and find his way back on to the right path, having set out to doom and destruction with Skin, Daz and Speed. It is beautiful and sympathetic and imaginative. Even though it is set in the modern day there is something magical about the songs of the world and the fact that all sounds are music. Music is the key to the world and it keeps the world moving. A fantastic idea from an amazing author. Definitely a must read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing 5 July 2004
This is most certainly the best book I have read this year: musical, visually beautiful, compelling and sometimes tragic and emotional. Tim Bowler develops the characters so well that they leave a great impression on the reader.
The plot starts off simple with many twists and routes on the way, basically Luke carries out a job for Skins gang to prove himself, he is forced to break in the house of Mrs Little and rob a jewellery box but what he finds inside is so unexpected it will change his life forever.
Mysterious and rewarding, a book for teens and adults alike!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 16 Jun 2003
From the moment I opened this book I thought 'Wow! Here's a book I'd like to read' I read a review for Starseeker while browsing this very site and just knew it was for me.
The novel is about a boy called Luke who seems to be going through a teenage crisis. His Father is dead, he's having problems with his mum and has "Fallen in with the wrong crowd" so to speak. When he is forced to break into an old house he finds far more than he bargained for.
And then of course there is the music. Luke is a very talented pianist like his father. He is able to sight read perfectly and play pieces which he hasnt seen for years. But all this only seems to add to his problems.
I don't want to tell you any more of the story line because that would spoil the pure magic of reading this fantastically writen novel by yourself. All I can say now is 'BUY IT NOW!'
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book 30 Sep 2013
By Firinne
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have had this book for a while, I think maybe I was a little reluctant to start it once I realised I'd bought a book aimed at young adults but from the first page, I was hooked! This book has everything - wonderful, beautifully drawn characters a strong story and even a touch of magic. Luke's struggles to come to terms with his father's death, his alienation from his mother, resentment at life's 'unfairness' and being drawn into the dark world of Skin and his friends. I actually read the last half in one sitting, I just couldn't put the book down!

I found the 'other wordly' touches very interesting, too - not 'fantastical' enough to detract from a down to earth tale but some very interesting ideas from the author about life and death and the firmament. Read it, you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yay for this 31 Jan 2003
This is a beautiful book! Luke plays the piano with very good hands. He accidentally gets involved with a rough gang who have a grudge against an old lady living in a house and they make Luke climb in to steal a box the leader of the gang, Skinner, saw her with. But when Luke finally does get in the house, he finds more then he bargains for...
Lovely. It's told superbly. There are some touching, emotional moments concerning Luke's dad, and sometimes you just want to hit Skin and his stupid gang for being horrible to Luke. They really are very dangerous. But it's a great book - very original.
BUY IT! And you'll have fun reading it, I guarantee you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
this is a book I have enjoyed for so many years now. I first read it around 6 years ago and it is a story that has stayed in my mind and heart ever since. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Michelle Bermingham
4.0 out of 5 stars grown up
Just finished reading his in 1 sitting! I am not a young person, but this book is a wonderful read. Try it.
Published 6 months ago by the boss
4.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
Beautiful and unusual with colour and wonderful imagination. The characters are great even though their appearances are not fully described. Gorgeous story.
Published 6 months ago by NO
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Bowler's best work
One of the reasons I prefer music to 'songs' is that there is no set story or purpose behind music. And composers don't feel the urge to inject words like 'love', 'baby' and 'yeah'... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Inspector Gadget
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This book was great I really enjoyed it. It was thrilling at times and a great story line. Great book
Published 11 months ago by Unknown
5.0 out of 5 stars Starseeker
What a fantastic book. I read that Tim Bowler writes books for teens well I'm 43 and I loved it. To be honest I couldn't put the book down.
Published 12 months ago by Samanthajtaylor
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT READING
very good book could'nt wait to reach the end to see what happened I was so enthralled by it I read it in 2 days
Published 12 months ago by BERYL BUTLER
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
It was really quite good and the characters were very thought out and likeable... even Mrs Little. I read this very fast.
Published 12 months ago by Micki B
5.0 out of 5 stars Touched a nerve
Hadn't realised was teenage thriller, I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful story and am in my 50`s ! Kept me enthralled from beginning to end
Published 13 months ago by Mrs Julie Lawn
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I simply could not put this book down. It had me from the very first page. I made dinner reading it walked round reading it. Read more
Published 13 months ago by C. Hall
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