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Gullstruck Island Paperback – Unabridged, 4 Jun 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Age Range: 9 - 14 years
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; Unabridged edition (4 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330441914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330441919
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now. (Patrick Ness)

Book Description

A triumph of imagination and wordplay. An adventure as fierce and fiery as the volcanoes that rule it . . . and the girl that rules them! Now in paperback - launching a stunning new cover look!

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hugely original and thought provoking. A great read.
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Format: Hardcover
A rip roaring childrens adventure novel that is currently as unique as Harry Potter was on his original outing which makes this a book that I think will soon have the premise replicated by others trying to produce something different. The characters are not only interesting but also have a vibrancy about them that makes this mammoth book a hard to put down tale.

Its quirky and when you add to the mix an arc featuring murder, betrayal as well as consequences from inaction due to the character tribes fear and you have a tale that really does inspire. A great offering and definitely an author to watch.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a lively, page turning fantasy read packed full of action and intrigue. The story centres around two sisters Hathin and Arilou who belong to the Lace tribe on Gullstruck island. The characters are superb and you are really drawn in the struggles of Hathin trying to keep her mute sister Arilou safe with the huge twist that Arilou is considered one of the Islands magical 'Lost' people who excel at a form of Astral projection leaving their bodies behind while their minds wander around the island. The only problem is Hathin is not convinced whether her sister is really a Lost and there is an inspector due in town to test Arilou...
There are hard hitting themes in this book of ethnic cleansing, death, betrayal and revenge but it's done in a beautifully told fairytale manner which makes it suitable for any teenager. The island landscape of volcanoes, jungle and sea is brought to life and the scenery becomes a character in the story. The different tribes and villages and towns have some real conflict in this book which keeps the story zipping along with the sisters travelling across the island. I found the book surprising and original to the last page and recommend it for teenagers.
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Format: Paperback
Hathin and Arilou are Lace - a tribe viewed with suspicion by Gullstruck Island's other inhabitants due to a `misunderstanding' with the Cavalcaste settlers who arrived two centuries earlier. When an inspector comes to see if Arilou is a Lost (someone who can send their senses away from their bodies) Hathin must protect the future of her village as no one is certain if her sister is really a Lost or merely an idiot. As Hathin schemes to beat the tests, someone else has a bigger plan in mind and when the inspector is found dead Hathin and Arilou find themselves plunged into a nightmare - a nightmare that threatens the whole island.

As you'd expect from a Frances Hardinge novel, this is a wonderfully imagined world that's chock filled with cultural, geographical and historical details that bring it to - at times a delightfully absurd - life. I particularly loved the development of the history of the Cavalcaste conquest of the island as resulting from a need to have new spaces to place their dead and the awful consequences that this has had generations down the line. There's a brilliant glossary at the end, which further expands on the world she's created. Hardinge weaves elements from many different cultures into her story and its world - including Polynesia, Maori, Aztec and Mayan civilisation and hints at some African cultures - although she is careful to say that the world itself is entirely of her own making.

The plot is intricately constructed - part escape story, part revenge story - and there are many layers to it as Hardinge brings in the wider context. What I really liked about the novel is the way it plays with the concept of a `chosen one'.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Im a third of the way through the book and I think I will probably give up on it. It is well-written, imaginative and unusual, but the story is just too padded out - the book is way too long. You have to wade through so much description and dialogue to get to the real meat of the book. The book also depends on you caring about the main characters, and I just dont care enough to keep on reading. One of the main characters, Arilou, is described as basically in some kind of vegetative state and yet somehow selfish at the same time - although she might change later in the book perhaps. The other character, Hathin, is more interesting - a young girl who has to look after her sister Arilou, and protect her from the dangers around them. I wish I could find out what happens to them without having to wade through another few hundred pages. Maybe Ill skim-read the rest. Would be a great book if the author had left out about half of it.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a B-I-G book, and my 10 year old daughter is very difficult to please when it comes to anything with more than a couple of hundred pages - unless it has Harry Potter in the title! I'm not going to go into details and spoilers concerning the story, other than to say it is beautifully written, and after a rather plodding start, holds the interest completely. Some of the themes dealt with are a little adult and beyond a 10 year old, so I sat and read the book with her, explaining parts she didn't understand. In doing so, I rather dug a hole for myself, because as the book progressed, so did her demands to read more and more in each session. We have now completed it, and she has gone on to read it again on her own. It's quite unusual for a book aimed at older children to also appeal to adults, but I found myself drawn into the story entirely. I can highly recommend this book to children who enjoy reading non-stop action and adventure stories, but would definitely say that they need to be at least 10 to get the most out of it. Frances Hardinge has written a story that deserves to become a childrens modern classic. The fact that it can also be thoroughly enjoyed by parents is a bonus.
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