This fantasy would probably work best for early teens. The opening is intriguing and fast paced setting the otherwordly feel of the piece well. Most of the narrative them takes place in a snow blizzard which, whilst providing a strong descriptive background and sense of disorientation, does tend to limit the action a little. It is unusual in that it has no distinct protagonist, instead spreading that function over three teenage brothers and their deepening sense of family unity. It's fun, atmospheric and steeped in Cornish lore.
This is the first book I have managed to get through quickly in ages. I struggled to put it down and got really lost in the story of two worlds. The descriptive language used is fantastic and really brought to life the changing landscape of the story. I can't wait for the next book to come out so I can find out more about the 'otherworld' and what happens to the characters.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. The first part of this review is spoiler free, and I will indicate when spoilers are introduced.
This novel tells the story of three brothers, Travis, Liam and Evan who are out in town on the day of the Winter Solstice to buy some last minute presents for their family. Little do they what events are about to unfold around them! One of my favourite aspects of this book was how the author described what the characters were thinking. An example of this is "He found he was able to think very clearly, and a simple but previously elusive truth became apparent to him." Overall, I would recommend this book to both children and young adults, as I do not think any parts of the novel are unsuitable for children.
----Spoilers from this point on----
I thought the prologue of the novel was very effective in setting the tone for the novel. It brings the reader straight into the action, and establishes the Wild Hunt that features prominently throughout the novel. I thought it was cleaver that the reader was introduced to Chastity at the beginning of the novel, and how it is only at the end of the novel that the reader finds out what actually became of her.
Another plot line that I enjoyed was that of the Lord of Misrule. When he helped Travis to escape the Wild Hunt, I thought he was genuinely trying to help the brothers. Yet it is only later that we find out what his true intentions are.
I thought that suspense was created successfully toward the end of the novel in the part where Travis is trying to get to the Solstice Blade to end the Winter Solstice. The use of the count down in his distance to the blade- "Fifty feet", "Twenty five feet" all the way to "Five feet" was used well to hold the reader's interest.
*I bought this book from the author at the Mount Edgcumbe Christmas Fair, so this will not show as a verified purchase on Amazon.
A delightful YA, centring around three brothers and an unforeseen adventure on solstice night. Since I live near the town in which this adventure takes place, I will never walk through Liskeard without thinking of this story! Strongest parts were the descriptions of the spectral hunt pursuing the brothers and their elven friend. Good read, looking for the next book as soon as it comes out!
I went in with a firm understanding that I am not the target audience and imagined a young, teenage me reading it and was pleasantly surprised.
The author successfully manages to not condescend while also not drifting towards false grandiosity (a narrow line that is rarely managed by even established authors writing for young adults) The book has an intrinsic honesty to it that I really liked which hints that the author could write an exceptional high/epic fantasy novel (which is certainly my preference)
A book for your child that's transitioning from kiddie books to more mature subjects and certainly an author to keep an eye on moving forward
Rob Beck is a new author and his first book is a great introduction to his style and more importantly to the characters in the book. It's an easy read and will appeal to all who are tempted by the artwork and summary, to leap into the Prologue. From there it's just the turn of a page to the fast paced journey, as we're bounced between The Otherworld and this, well Liskeard anyway! The boundaries between the two worlds are blurred throughout the book and it's very clever how Rob has blurred Cornish reality with our imaginations. The book deserves a sequel, the characters deserve another adventure, with maybe a present for Dad in mind!