- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1332 KB
- Print Length: 420 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BHK8N8S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,201,756 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Worm Winds of Zanzibar (The Alex Trueman Chronicles Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Again, I'm not really keen on the cover but it matches book 1 and does fit with the story.
Anyway, I set out with high hopes for this book, I think the world set up in book 1 was well detailed and imaginative and felt they had more to do there, I hoped this book would take us back there. I even wanted to know what became of Ganymede and the other people trapped there. I was slightly shocked when they don't go back there at all but was prepared to go with it.
This time Alex, Kelly and Henry (Alex's friend) end up transported to Zanzibar in the 19th Century, they must try to adapt to life there and learn customs to help them survive. Whilst there they meet up with some friends from Intersticia.
I liked the world building in this book, the details and reality of 19th Century Zanzibar was impressive and it really came to life off the page, for me that made the book, everything was just so rich and detailed. I could picture the setting clearly, but I did miss the magic and wonder of Intersticia. For me it lacked some of the charm and wonder of book 1.
There is a love triangle set up in this story, but to be honest I didn't totally believe the chemistry between Alex and Kelly in the first place, she was very moody and distant and quite fickle and Alex was very often too busy or preoccupied to even think about her - Kelly became a sort of after thought for him which meant for me, they just lacked the chemistry for it to be anything more than a mutual appreciation. But I did like the relationship between Kelly and Jamil.
Henry started out as the average friend, but soon became rather annoying. He has a big mouth and tends to get himself and his friends in trouble. He seems to have a lack of tact and thoughtfulness for others, he is very abrupt and tends to say what he is thinking. This sometimes has funny results and sometimes dangerous. I'm not sure I liked him and was sure on more than one occasion that he would get everyone killed or betray them - he just had that vibe to me.
I liked the apocalyptic threat in the book and the fact that it was sort of an underlying threat, something that would tip everyone over the edge after they had suffered through every other problem thrown thier way. If they all survived.
There was a host of interesting new characters and the new world was great but I did miss some of the spark of book 1. It just didn't have the same feel to me. I did still enjoy the story but it wasn't what I had expected. The writing itself was well done and Dukes does have a way with words, it just didn't capture my heart. I do want to know how it all wraps up as the ending was quite abrupt, so I will look out for book 3.
Martin Dukes proved that he could create an interesting new world in his books that still relate to our own with Intersticia: the moment between moments, and he’s gone and done it again! We’ve moved from Intersticia to Zanzibar which is a universe parallel to the Middle Eastern. It’s incredibly well done, and there was no information dropping as he introduced us to a different world. This has often been a make or break aspect for me in previous novels, and the fact that he delivered it so fluently is a clear reflection of his talents as an author.
I found Zanzibar itself fascinating with its ruler Jalil usually referred to as The Sultan. He’s a very important character to the story as would expect, and in a way you see him change as much as the characters we knew from the prequel Caught in a Moment.
This of course includes Alex who has once again got himself stuck in a very sticky situation. He’s also managed to drag along Kelly and Henry, who with no previous involvement in any “weird” circumstances deals with it considerably well. So long as you don’t count the way his sharp tongue gets him into more than simple scratches and scrapes.
Kelly on the other hand, well she adapted a bit too well. I was always rooting for her simply because of the way Alex saw her, so I can’t help resent the way she cast him aside so much in favour for some of the other elements of Zanzibar. Unlike the others (particularly Alex) she grew too comfortable with her temporary surroundings. Meanwhile Alex was the voice of reason as he struggled not just with the surroundings but staying alive. Somewhere along the line she forgot this.
There was of course a lot of times where the fact they were different from the locals was made starting clear, and it never ended well. In Alex’s words “If this was ‘safety’, Alex could hardly imagine what ‘peril’ must be like.”
So in the end, with engaging characters and an enthralling plot Worm Winds of Zanzibar is a definite read for people who enjoyed Caught in a Moment. Looking back I see that you probably could start from this book in the series, but to properly appreciate and simply enjoy it to the full extent, you should read the first.
Posted on: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/
I can't wait for the next book!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Firstly, this is a YA novel so the first and overriding question I ask myself is, simply, whether I would want my own children to read it. To that simple question, like Dukes' previous novel, I respond with a resounding YES. Dukes' book is suspenseful without being absurdly graphic and complex without being overtly adult. He manages to engage with his readers without bashing them over the head. Further, he teaches them something without TEACHING them SOMETHING, if you get my drift. Martin Dukes is among the best at treading that fine line.
The second question that bounces in my head for YA novels is whether it's actually entertaining. Again, my answer is yes, but less resoundingly so than for the previous novel. This novel is a sequel only really in that it deals with the same characters, not due to any cohesiveness of theme. The author has expanded the scope of his world greatly but those who liked the first in the series may or may not like the second. The tone and pace are completely different so they really must be judged as entirely separate entities.
Lastly, it must be asked if the reader will learn anything from the novel. As before, the answer is to the affirmative with liberal inclusion of new concepts ranging from history and geography to multi-dimensional cosmological theories. There is a lot to be teased out of this work if you look closely for it.
Leaving aside the YA genre for a bit, Dukes' work has always enthralled me despite my adult status. He weaves together very skillfully the genre of escapist fantasy with an almost Dan Brown sort of mythology. His work is a blend of "What Dreams May Come" and a 1950s Sinbad adventure movie. He can take two things with seemingly no real relationship to each other and spin them up in exotic and surprising ways.
The negatives I would note are few and far between but not to be omitted. The most notable defect is the cover of the book itself. My fiancee and I both were struck immediately at how poorly it makes the potential reader want to pick up the book. Had I not had previous experience with this author I might have tucked it quietly into the "I'll get to this later.... maybe..." pile. The title too does not especially inspire and fails utterly to represent the book in a positive manner. Lastly, the typography in my edition was a bit off. In several instances whole words or sentences were omitted. A careful reading of the proofs is advised for any subsequent printings.
In summary, Martin Dukes' series of novels is one of the few that I would recommend wholeheartedly not only for content and entertainment but for sheer educational potential.
Martin Dukes sets the stage for this enthralling adventure in the court of Zanzibar where the young Sultan tries to maintain balance in a continual power struggle between his mother and the Grand Vizier. In this world of political intrigue, deception and kowtowing to a ruler out of fear, the lonely seventeen year old turns to Alex for friendship after he has a premonition of three white worms arriving from the desert which brings him a sense of victory and good fortune. In a land where the white worm is a powerful image, the symbol is a lucky omen for the three Outlanders who suddenly appear, but they will also find that it can be a harbinger of disaster.
Threads of this well-written page turner encompass not only Alex's exploits as he struggles to keep peace in the palace while searching for a way back home to Cardenbridge, England; Kelly's immersion in the culture and her romance with the young noble Jamail bin Afzal ; Henry's blood-feud with the arrogant noble Shazad, but also Will's hunt for clues to a disaster that endangers the kingdom. In a plot where time and space are out of sync, the intensity and suspense escalates as ties of friendship are broken and violence stalks the five Outlanders. Yet with every twist and turn in an adventure filled with fear and bloodshed there are humorous incidents and funny dialogue. When you think all the Outlanders' difficulties are solved, an explosive but satisfying climax begs for a third book in the series.
Martin Dukes creates unforgettable characters that are realistic and complex in nature as they struggle to overcome their faults and flaws. Alex Trueman a typically cheerful and talkative teen with few friends is assaulted by three of the Brethren at his rendezvous with Kelly. Fleeing for his life, in Zanzibar he finds the corrupt atmosphere of the palace more troubling, especially the deviousness and callousness of the Vizier and the cruelty, bloodlust of a mad ruler who undermine his honesty and integrity. Kelly is the determined and stubborn romantic interest in the story. When she eventually immerses herself in the life and culture of Zanzibar and clings to the love of the handsome, kind and caring Jamal bin Afzal, Alex is struck by a shaft of jealousy that results in a foolish decision that alienates her. Yet through all the uncertainty and fear both Alex and Kelly not only retain a strong tie, but show remarkable bravery.
Among the other score of personalities that add passion, energy and drama to the plot are the sociable and brave Tanya; the diplomatic and unobtrusive boy Will; Alex's cocky and self-absorbed friend Henry; the open and opinionated servant Zulfigar and the overly frugal and cantankerous astronomer Zoroaster. But it's the antagonists that lend a dark and menacing chill to the story; like the formidable, resentful and bitter Lady Shaquira, the sadistic and manipulative Vizier as well as the Sultan who transforms from a reasonable and even-tempered young man into a monstrous tyrant after he recovers from a fever.
"Worm Winds of Zanzibar" is the second in the Alex Trueman Chronicles which I enjoyed so much that I ordered the other two books in the series. I rate it highly and recommend it to other young readers who like the thrill of an adventure that will keep them riveted.
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