Sunday, February 27, 2011

February British Book Challenge 2011: Ravenwood

Title: Ravenwood
Author: Andrew Peters
Published: Chicken House, May, 2011

Synopsis: Art Malikum begins his day as a plumber, the squittiest job possible in Arborium. By the end of the day he's escaped death and is the only one who can save Arborium from the greedy hands of neighbouring country Maw. By delving into the secrets of the Ravenwood and with the help of his friends Mucum, Flo and his little sister Shiv, can Ark, a mere 14 year old succeed? Or will his arch enemy Petronio succeed in his evil plans to stop him?

Star parts: Now, where shall I start? Well, for a start this is a rip-roaring plot, with the kind of pace I love. The story starts off with an amazing chase scene. By the end of chapter one, the reader is already firmly on Ark's side and plunged straight into this slightly strange tree world that is Arborium.Chapter two clears up any of those burning questions the reader might be having, such as: what's going on? and from there on, it's just pure fun, and lots of escaping death.

Arborium is obviously a very different world, but Peters litters in enough references with a little twist that the reader can imagine this world and how it functions. The language of Arborium is also slightly different so although there is no real swearing in the book, the characters do say 'buddy' a lot.

The characters are great and as they embark on their journey to save Arborium, they also all embark on a journey of self discovery. Ark suspects there is something that sets him apart from the other dendrans, but as any hero on a journey knows, first he ignores his difference and then embraces it while staying true to himself. Mucum who is the muscle and comedy character discovers and accepts his weaknesses. And Flo who is ridiculed ends up being the hero of the day. Petronio, Ark's nemesis, also discovers just how bad he can be and totally embraces it.

Black clouds: Mmm... don't think there are any. Well... maybe some of the characters are a little stereotypical, but not cardboard. The reader knows what motivates the character, so while they might start off as a standard good or bad guy, we get to know their nuances along the way. In fact what we really find out by the end of the book is that nothing is black and white.

Do I recommend it: What do you think? YES! I really, really enjoyed this. Please do read it. It's out in May and should do great things.

To read more great reviews check out The Bookette here and the February BBC challenge here.


Becky said...

Lovely review! It certainly does have a great opening. I see your point about some of the characters. I loved all the puns. Did you?

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

I loved them, I thought it was so clever.


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