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Superior childrens fantasy
on 18 January 2009
This is a story of a young lad saved from death to be immersed into a strange universe of different dimensions, weird creatures, imaginary but real staircases, people materialising out of thin air wearing bowler hats and dog faced sniffer men who cannot cross thresholds unless invited.
Even more spooky no one in my family seems to know where our copy of the book came from? so I had to read it, especially as it has a rather groovy 'Clockwork Orange' type cover. This is a classy childrens story. I wouldn't put it up there with the best of his contempories such as Pullman and Rowling but then not many are.
I liked the unpredictable nature of the story and some of the images where very vivid such as the 'Old One' and his 12 hourly tormentors.
I also quite like the fact that Author rather than being an all action superhero type is actually an asthmatic. As someone who has battled with that condition most of my life it was quite novel to see it used as a plot line in a fantasy book!
The author builds the tension nicely towards the end and the story marches on quickly enough to keep you involved and turning the pages. I did find the baddies a bit inept and unchallenging at times (but this is a childrens story) and I would have hoped for a bit more charactorisation and feeling for the people in the story as they were a bit non-descript and felt largely just vehicles for the plot. However this is the first of a series of books.
But this is a great little story I would be happy for any children in my family to read it and is a welcome break from some of the increasingly gory and 'adult' books that are being marketed at kids at present, but it is a childrens book I would say, rather than having the universal appeal of the afore mentioned authors.