Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Teachers and school librarians are the gateway to the minds of young readers, so I'm delighted when my work receives their approval. Here's a lovely review from learning resources manager Joy Court, writing for School Zone, where X Isle was Book of the Month. School Zone is a great reading resource for parents, teachers, and pupils alike - well worth a look.
Librarian's Book choice.
'This book is a complete change of genre for the author known for the Various trilogy. In contrast to the world of fairies, this is a quite outstanding example of a dystopian future novel and the most realistic flooded world scenario that I have come across. In a way, that is the smallest of its virtues. The novel's real strength is in the portrayal of adolescent boys and their interactions as individuals and the portrayal of group dynamics. These are very real and recognisable young men and it is how they react to the pressure and terror of life on X-Isle, and the ways in which the horrifying and evil adults delight in a policy of divide and rule, that is so gripping and thought-provoking. This is a dark and brutal place and understandably, most inmates are brutalised by it, but the book is ultimately uplifting. The boys come to realise they can be stronger together and eventually work to overthrow the regime. This book would make a worthy comparator to Golding's Lord of the Flies and generate some fascinating class discussion. Although it would appear to have most appeal to boys, everyone will enjoy the sheer quality and readability of the language and the depth of psychological perception as well as the fast paced narrative and immaculate plotting of this unforgettable read.'