The Undrowned Child Paperback – 4 Feb 2010
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
I would recommend this book to anyone that would like to have fun while finding out true stories about this world famous city... This brilliant adventure is full of fantasy and drama and there is always something going on (Rachel (young reviewer) SCOTTISHBOOKTRUST.COM)
A stunning debut in which Venice is dying - and a long-ago prophecy of an enchanted child has been awakened from the canal's poisoned waters.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Technically, I haven't finished this book, but I'm just not enjoying it. I feel like it's a YA book (it probably is, I didn't read too much into the description of it) and it just doesn't have that grit that 'Human Skin' has, which is what I love about her writing. I don't really care for Teo or the mermaid on the book, and I don't feel like I'm in Venice when I'm reading it, I'm not immersed in it.
I liked how it started and I was intrigued, but as I am reading it I'm drifting further out. I'm not a fan of this one.
Like Harry Potter, the heroine of this marvellous fantasy discovers a magical realm that is unseen by most of the ordinary world. Again, like Harry Potter she discovers that she is the enemy of an evil force seeking to restore his material form and wreak vengeance on those who previously defied him. Like J.K. Rowling's hero she meets a cornucopia of supernatural beings and is aided in her fight against the enemy by various magical devices.
But THE UNDROWNED CHILD is a far more subtle and evocative read than J.K. Rowling's creation. Part of its charm lies in the depiction of Venice - clearly born of an abiding passion for the architecture, culture, art and history of arguably the most beautiful city in the Western World. There is a dream-like beauty to this book which reminded me more of C.S.Lewis at his best than the stories of Hogwarts. The research and knowledge that has gone into this work shines through even during the phantasmagorical encounters with ghosts, werewolves, talking cats etc.
Author Michelle Lovric has mastered a compelling prose style that will captivate younger and older readers alike. Lovric, like her heroes, clearly loves books and learning. This is not to say that the book is in any way stuffy or humourless. The rough-talking, curry-eating mermaids are a comic highlight, and Lovric makes the 2 human heroes undergo a great deal of peril in the best traditions of fairy tales and fantasy adventure stories. Teo and Renzo are depicted as flawed and loveable protagonists and there is a warm vein of humour running through the narrative. Be warned though - due to some of the more horrific incidents in the book I would certainly not suggest it as suitable for smaller children.
The best recommendation I can give this book is that it made me want to go to Venice as soon as I'd finished it. There also seems to be room for a sequel or two. On the evidence of this book it appears that there may well be a lot more mileage in exploring this alternate and fantastical version of Venice.
Initially I thought this would be a typical '2 children fufill ancient prophecy in saving....', which it is to some extent. But it is also much more than that. the lines between foe and friend is constantly confused, and the characters are portrayed in wholly unique ways. For example,the mermaids; who talk like sailors and love a good curry. There is also genuine fear, for example the terrifying Brustolon statues that are appearing all over Venice. Finally, themes such as bullying, outcasts and friendship run throughout.
Overall an amazing urban fantasy for children.
Written for an intelligent reader of any age,it presents quite a complicated plot . The protagonists' dashing around Venice would be better appreciated by those who have an acquaintance with the city, but this does not detract from enjoyment of the unfolding tale.
The author conveys the unique atmosphere of Venice and enhances it with an imaginative exploitation of some of the myths and characters which emerge from its history, animating it with a few more of her own.
And while the plot has many similarities to the overall genre of children's literature - two children who originally clash have to learn to work togther despite their differences to overcome a great evil - there is plenty which makes this book original and new. The different classifications for ghosts, for example, are one way that Lovric has made something for herself. And with the character of the Butcher Biasio, his ghost is perhaps one of the most frightening that I have encountered for a long time.
The only thing which stopped me from awarding 5 stars was that, personally, I felt the chapters were too short. It often made the action feel a little rushed - Teo and Renzo faced mortal peril one minute and then the next something had miraculously happened which saved them. Yet despite this rushed feel to the pace of the book, it is actually just under 400 pages in length, so in a way this sense of rush is strange. While some aspects of the plot had just the right attention, there were others which could have had more.
Overall, this is a brilliant novel for younger adults. Not only does it feel steeped in magic, there is a good dose of history too. Reading it has made me want to go to Venice to see it for myself...
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Would love to read a second instalment!!Read more
So readable enchanting and mesmerising
Could not put it down
Read 3 of her books now and all have a 10 out of 10 from me