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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Aiken, 18 Aug. 2004
By 
Mrs. H. V. Aver (London) - See all my reviews
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This is a fantastic book- if you are a Joan Aiken fan, buy it immediately. Rather than using the mythical, historical backgrounds of the Wolves... series, this is set in modern England- an England which has been overrun by monsters- and the adventures and struggles of two cousins to escape the monsters and the more sinister threats which follow them, and their attempts to unravel the mystery of where it all went wrong.
Like all Aiken's best work, there is a deeply scary, nightmare thread running through this book, which probably makes it unsuitable for impressionable younger readers, but makes it ultimately more thrilling and involving for older readers and adults.
The monsters are especially entertaining- drawn from Lewis Carroll, ancient mythology, and even Monty Python, they are scary and funny at the same time. Although the book reaches a satisfying conclusion, not all the more peculiar loose ends are tied up, leaving room for re-reading and re-interpreting.
A brilliant book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review, 26 July 2006
This review is from: The Cockatrice Boys (Hardcover)
It has been 3-4 years since I last read this book, but I still remember it as an extremely good read. The ending, whilst a definitive ending, left room for interpretation and throughout the entire book you were kept thinking 'What's going to happen next?' and each time the book took an unexpected turn.

Whilst being a relatively short book compared to others I have read (David Gemmell, The lord of the rings etc) it is still worth a read and if you have any spare money or want a new book I suggest you buy this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually sinister for J.A.'s kids' books, 4 Aug. 2008
By 
N. Lawson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cockatrice Boys (Paperback)
See the other reviews for story details, I can't be bothered to repeat them; suffice it to say that this one is a real page-turner - as usual for Aiken - and sometimes really quite sinister, with a lot of gallows humour. It's suitable for all adults and most children, but not the more easily upset ones. The creepy bits remind me of "Bridle the Wind", which is just as creepy as anything by M.R. James.
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The Cockatrice Boys (Puffin Teenage Fiction)
The Cockatrice Boys (Puffin Teenage Fiction) by Joan Aiken (Paperback - 30 July 1998)
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