on 14 March 2013
I very much enjoyed the first book in this series "Smugglers at Whistling Sands", because we frequently visit the Lleyn Peninsula on Summer Holidays and I am an enormous fan of Enid Blyton. When "The Missing Treasure" came out, I purchased it. I rarely read any modern books because I prefer older ones but this book is an absolute masterpiece. It is a fantastic read in it's own right but with the frequent Enid Blyton hints it is a fantastic book for any fan of the Famous Five and so on. The characters occasionally see the need to drink ginger beer, which always brings a smile and there are many other similarities which a true Famous Five fan could not fail to spot. The storyline is very imaginative but quite credible at the same time. Throughout the book I could not guess at all how it would end. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone and its only real flaw is that the series is not yet available as printed books which is a shame as I would love to give it as a present to some of my younger cousins. I would say that really the book is suitable for all ages. I am really looking forward to another book in the series and I hope it will soon become popular. I consider this book the best book I have read which was first published less that 40 years ago. This, I think is a superior read even to Smugglers at Whistling Sands, despite the fact that I do not have the advantage of knowing the locations in this one. There is no bad language in this one which improves it greatly I hope the series runs for at least 21 books. If you get this book you will not regret it.
on 28 May 2013
After a slow start, this proved to be a solid follow-up to the debut novel 'Smugglers at Whistling Sands'. Adopting the same Enid Blyton formula, fully acknowledged by the author, of kids on holiday having adventures and solving crimes, the story is based on the real-life discovery of the 'Staffordshire Hoard', a collection of Anglo Saxon treasure found by an amateur with a metal detector in a Stafforshire field in 2009.
The story centres on the efforts of the kids to locate a possible second hoard in the same area, prompted by an old book found in the attic. And of course it transpires that they aren't the only ones on the same quest.
The children from the first story are all here, reconvened in a new location, with the resourceful Lou taking the lead. There is also the Blyton staple of an additional child who is initially spoilt and hostile, but later proves to be a valuable member of the team.
The challenge that writers like Chedzoy face is to create plausible situations where the kids have to fend for themselves in the face of real danger, without the adults appearing grossly irresponsible. This is an even bigger task 60+ years on from Enid Blyton's time, now that children lead such protected lives. Would modern parents really allow four kids aged 10-12 to camp on their own for a week in a farmer's field more than an hour's journey from home? Perhaps, but it is a stretch.
Fortunately the author just about gets away with it, despite a few "best not call any adults even though we have mobile phones - they would never believe us" moments that didn't fully survive the scrutiny of my 8-year-old daughter.
The main plot idea of the second treasure hoard is well-constructed, and the pace builds up nicely to an entertaining denouement. Assuming Chedzoy's objective was to take the best of Blyton and update it to the modern age without losing the appeal, then he has broadly succeeded.
So if you have run out of Blyton stories, or are worried they may not hold the attention of modern children, then give this a try. It is a worthy effort.
on 30 January 2014
This is the second book in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed it; as much as the first book. I must admit I thought it was going to be quite straightforward but as the story progressed, the storyline developed into an intriguing one and I really didn't know how it was going to end. For those of you who like Enid Blyton's Famous Five this book will appeal to you. It rather unashamedly references them during the storyline. Lou, Jack, David and Emily are great characters dreamed up by the author and it is as though they have grown up after their first adventure. I would highly recommend this book to all ages. It's easy reading, very pleasant escapism and keeps you wanting to read the next chapter again and again.
on 20 March 2013
The second book was quite a while coming but there is no doubt that it was worth the wait. Sometimes, the second book in a series (like the second single for a musician) can be tricky because the author has to match or better what was previously done and not simply repeat him/herself. George avoids that trap with this book - the characters have developed and moved on and the plot moves away from the original location to give quite a different feel. There is certainly the potential here for further books and hopefully they will arrive in fairly short order!
on 11 June 2013
I was a little worried that Chedzoy's second book wouldn't quite match up to the first, but I needn't have been, as this is another thrilling adventure for Lou and the gang. The author has a wonderful knack for bringing the characters and location to life, and takes time to make the reader feel part of the action - and what action! Buried treasure, mysterious caves, sleepy villages and a crazy tractor ride - this book has it all. Nice one George !
on 6 August 2014
The second book in the series is just as good as the first. A great story, with morals, friendship and forgiveness added in. Like Enid Blyton but brought up to date so it is more appealing to children today. Good characters who you want to have many more adventures together. Can't wait for the next in the series. Please, please write many more of these books Mr Chedzoy.