Beck is the story of an eponymous mixed-race orphan in an uncaring world. After the death of his mother, Beck is shipped off to Canada, where he deals with abusive priests, abusive farmers, and violent mobsters (plus more) while he searches for a place to belong.
This is a book that desperately wants to have an important message. It’s just not clear what that message is. Every event drips with unused significance. He is neglected and abused as an orphan, but it ends there – any larger point about man’s inhumanity to man or poverty fizzle out as he pushed the memories behind him and wanders on. Instead of an exploration of society or identity or anything else, each plot point is simply another event in a series of them with no real purpose. Continue reading “Beck – Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff (Review)”
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is the story of Ada, who lives in an old Gothic mansion with a cast of unlikely and eccentric characters. One night, she hears the spectral squeaking of a ghostly mouse, and this kickstarts her adventure – not just investigating a shadowy conspiracy, but slowly exploring the labyrinthine house and its many secrets. Continue reading “Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse – Chris Riddell”
I received a copy of The Iron Trial a while ago, and was intrigued – I am all about coming of age stories with magic and violence in them. However, I kept leaving it at work, and piling other stuff on top of it, so it languished neglected for a while. When I started reading it, I finished it in an evening – partly because it is relatively short, and partly because I quite enjoyed it. It is a recent collaboration between Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments) and Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles – I’ve yet to read them). Continue reading “Magisterium: The Iron Trial – Cassandra Clare & Holly Black”