Even for readers who aren’t reluctant, Terry Denton books have something extra to offer. For one thing, they’re utterly irreverent. His characters are always getting up to crazy hijinks, sometimes due to their own stupidity and sometimes due to their own cunning. For another, he has an almost post-modern style where the reader is continually brought into the story, winked at, nodded to and encouraged — never mind third person objectivity.
Christopher Paolini has the uncanny knack of leaving a chapter hanging just at a crucial point before lifting off to some other character – and leaving that hanging as well! It creates nail biting suspense as well as urging you to keep on going.
The language used in Moonshadow describes ancient Japan brilliantly, with all its floral roses, exotic arts and brutal military strength. The plot is well developed, especially the relationship between Moonshadow and Snowhawk. Plus, it keeps you in the dark about a lot of good twists.
He creates amazing traps for his characters, some they can’t escape. (Of course, there are also monsters, puzzles and huge waves made of Nothing!) Then he wraps things up astonishingly, leaving with a cliffhanger that makes you hungrily crave the next book.
The varying narrative, slightly otherworldly Gotham city setting, and the overall positive messages makes this a good choice for young boys – particularly those who are struggling to enjoy the world of books. That it also involves a fair amount of wish fulfillment also adds to this books charm for children.
Reviewed by Magdalena Ball George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Stephen and Lucy Hawking Random House ISBN 9780385612708, $27.95aud, ages 9-12 http://www.georgessecretkey.com/ Some of my earliest defining experiences involved the planetarium. I will never forget sitting in that big…
All in all, like The Dangerous Book for Boys, The Daring Book for Girls is a good-looking, long lasting gift that girls will turn to for inspiration repeatedly. The balance between doing and learning is nicely managed, and the information is geared to be interesting and exciting for young girls.
As with the original Dangerous Book, the book contains a kind of muted, classy beauty with secret looking pen and ink drawings, coloured plates which are true in look to their original sources, and a broad range of diagrams and photos. The attractive marble end papers are now gold, and the whole book has a lovely richness about it.
I think that the Harry Potter series is already outstanding, but Deathly Hallows will make a deep impression in the world of books, with its stunning prose and surprising ending.
This is an exciting, easy to read, and edifying book which is suitable for all ages. The combination of an excellent, stirring plot, sympathetic and well developed characters, a hint of romance, and a positive, well researched historical context for a critical and surprisingly relevant period in humanity’s makes this a winner.