‘“Well, Ninevah Redstone,” said the bogeyman… “it’s been fun, what wiv everyfin’. Even the scary bits, an’ there’ve been plenty enuff o’ those. But yer got what yer was after in the end.”’ The speaker in question, complete with idiosyncratic idiolect, is Skerridge, ‘Chief Bogeyman and Champion Kid-Catcher’, who, as Caro King’s debut novel opens, has claimed young Toby Redstone as his latest victim. But not only has Toby disappeared. All memory of him has vanished also – except, that is, for his older sister Ninevah (Nin) whose mission to pursue Skerridge and trace her missing brother provides the subject matter of a novel which is often gripping, complete with a few ‘scary bits’. The structure of the plot is based on the well established pattern of the quest story, focusing on Nin’s journey into what is known as ‘the Drift’, en route to ‘The House of Terror’. It becomes a perilous undertaking, involving encounters with an assortment of the weird and the wonderful, several of whom (such as Jik the mudman) are refreshingly original creations when placed beside the stock characters of more conventional children’s fantasy. The real strength of the novel’s characterisation, however, lies in the waistcoat-wearing Bogeyman Skerridge, who will gradually emerge as someone rather different from our initial expectations, an evolution paralleling our initiation into the mythic history of ‘the Drift’ and its surviving inhabitants. Slightly weakened by a style which at times becomes too self-consciously ornate, this is nevertheless an impressive novel: the promised sequel will have fans waiting.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2009-07-11 14:07:202022-12-11 14:18:53Seven Sorcerers
Illustrator: Zdenko Bašić