Title: The book of dead days
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Title: Orion Children's, 2004
Synopsis: The days between 27 December and New Year's Eve are dead days - days
when spirits roam and magic shifts restlessly just beneath the surface
of our everyday lives.There is a man, Valerian, whose time is running
out, who must pay the price for the pact he made with evil so many years
ago. His servant is Boy, a child with no name and no past; a child he
treats with contempt, but who serves his master well and finds solace in
the company of his only friend, Willow. Unknown to any of them it is
Boy who holds the key to their destiny.
Star parts: I feel like I read this forever ago, but it's just that I've had a bit of reading spree since I read it. So without further ado, the star parts are... all of it. There we go totally unbiased, unjudgemental reviewing here. Go on, go and read it if you haven't already. All right I'll tell you a bit more. Well straight away Boy (who is the main character by the way) starts off in a sticky situation, but the situation he's in at the beginning is nothing compared to the situation he finds himself in by the end of the night, or the next day or the day after that. Things just keep getting worse for Boy and Valerian keeps getting darker and darker.
One of the things I liked about Sedgwick's crafting of character is that nobody is completely evil and the good guys aren't completely good. Boy has his flaws. We are never quite sure about Kessler and right till the end I wondered if Valerian might act differently. Willow is probably the only character who is what she is.
Another thing I really liked about the book is that some things seem completely fantastical, but are eventually revealed as trickery, whereas other things remain completely fantastical.
The plot is amazing and the pacing just right. So...
Black clouds: There's a sequel and I haven't read it.
Do I recommend it: I totally do, whole heartedly and without doubt.
This is the tenth book I've reviewed for the British Book Challenge.