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Keyword: ‘Mortal Fire’

Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox

April 23, 2013 Comments off

mortal fireMortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox. Pub. Gecko Press, 2013.

Set in the country of Southland some 50 years after Dreamhunter and Dreamquake which established that there is something magical about this land. Indeed there is. First there was The Place where dreams were found now there is the magic of  the Zarene Valley and a Mining Disaster that happened 30 years ago.

Canny is a 16 year old girl but not a native Southlander. Her mother Sisema has an heroic past and her stepfather is a University Professor. Canny is brilliant at Mathematics but there is more to this gifted girl than that – she has Extra.

When her step brother, Sholto and his girlfriend Susan are sent to study the Mine Disaster of 1929 they take Canny with them and together they discover the magical Zarene Valley.

The inhabitants of the valley know that the magic is being sucked out of their valley but by what or whom?

On the hill in the Valley is a house that is protected by a powerful spell that keeps all out and restores the house evry day. There is one inhabitant who is a prisoner in the house, Ghislain. He is living a groundhog day existence and hasn’t aged since he was put there after the mine disaster.

Why is he imprisoned? What does he know of the mine disaster? Could the house be draining the magic out of the valley? All hell breaks loose when Canny finds Ghislain and her own magical powers begin to develop. Has Canny got  a secret agenda of her own? Has Ghislain got a motive?and as Taggert used to say “Is it murder”?

Elizabeth Knox is a wonderful writer and she keeps the reader in this 400 page novel with an imaginative plot. However it really is for your exceptional reader. The gifted ones who adore fantasy and complicated stories.

I loved it but it is not for everyone. A young adult/Adult crossover.

Categories: Fantasy, Senior Fiction, Young Adult Tags:

Being Magdalene by Fleur Beale.

August 22, 2015 Comments off

Being MagdaleneBeing Magdalene by Fleur Beale. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2015.

There needed to be a positive ending to this story of the Pilgrim Family that started with I am Not Esther and continued with I am Rebecca and this is it.

Caleb  and Naomi Pilgrim had 8 children and brought them up in the Children of the Faith religious Community headed by the despotic Elder Stephen. Their lives were dictated to by The Rule which Elder Stephen said was the word of god told through him. Chortle if you want.

The Rule rankled with all the Pilgrim children and divided their parents as it restricted freedom of choice and was an infringement on basic human rights particularly for girls and those who wanted to be educated. The Rule also proclaimed all who left the Faith to be dead and those who opposed the Rule would be damned and their mortal soul condemned in hell.

Needless to say the children were scared out of their wits but none more so than 12 year old Magdalene. She feels the pressure of the expulsion of brothe Daniel, sisters Miriam, Rebecca and cousin Esther real name Kirby. Now brothers Abraham and Luke are criticising The Rule but of greater concern is younger sister 7 year old Zillah who is a firebrand. Zillah says what she likes and tells Magdalene that she will run away and pleads for Magdalene to come with her. Will this happen? You will have to read the novel to find out.

Superbly written by Fleur Beale who keeps the tension on for the whole novel. Watching a family disintegrate is disturbing but the ending will bring tears to your eyes.

For readers of all ages from primary to high school. You will not forget this novel in a hurry. I do not often mention the cover of a novel but this one is superb.

The Rest of us just live Here by Patrick Ness.

June 22, 2015 Comments off

rest live hereThe Rest of us just live Here by Patrick Ness. Pub. Walker Books, 2015.

Since his Chaos Walking series, every book by Patrick Ness has been a major event in the world of Young Adult literature. Indeed it is a major literary event for all literature. So it is with this novel.

It took me three days to read this novel because I wanted it to. In the words of Winston Churchill it is a “mystery inside an enigma’ and I am not sure I fully understand it yet but over the next few months I will probably get there.

Patrick Ness  supplies a message with the book that probably provides the answer when he says  “this book is for all the Unchosen Ones” but of course he has to provide a Chosen One so we can distinguish between the two. I will let you the reader work out who the Chosen One is and why the rest of us just live here.

The novel is centred in a small American town, in a typical American family or is it? – a typical family?

Mike is approaching Graduation and the end of year Prom at the local high school. His sister Mel is to graduate too, she had a year off due to a problem with anorexia. Mike suffers from OCD and has two friends, a girl called Henna who he is infatuated with and a big boy with healing powers named Jared. Mike’s father is an alcoholic with a past, his mother is a politician and his younger sister Meredith loves a 1D type boy band called Bolt of Fire. The plot is about all the interaction between this group and it is simply written and compulsive reading.

I thought Ness may be taking the water out of the American way of life, maybe yes maybe no, you decide. I will say “is there a nation on earth that puts therapy on a pedestal the way Americans do?”

The structure of the novel is unique as there are two stories going on that are linked and touch each other and bring a science fiction feel to the novel. Before each chapter begins there are a couple of paragraphs about the Immortals breaking through to create havoc and the impact they have on “indie kids”, life’s people that no-one wants to see. The link between the two is the Chosen One. Fascinating.

A very entertaining and thought provoking novel. I loved it. I will leave you with a quote from the novel “why does everything have to mean something”. Brilliant!