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.
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. (Melvyn Burgess
Lyrical and emotionally charged - on full throttle (The Observer
A memorable book. (David Almond
A hard one to put down . . . one of the truly individual voices in British teenage fiction. (The Independent
Compelling and suspenseful (The Sunday Times
An intensely moving and powerful story. (The Mail on Sunday