Release Date: 10/04/14
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens
Do you remember the first time you climbed into the wardrobe with Lucy and emerged in Narnia? Flew on the back of Falkor the Luck Dragon with Bastian? Followed Alice down the rabbit hole? Welcome to your new favourite adventure. Late one night Alice Creighton hears her father having an argument with a fairy - a snarling, bald beast with warts and needle-like teeth. It is threatening her father, insisting he accept a mysterious offer, or else. When Alice's father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent away to live with distant relative Mr Geryon, owner of a huge, dark library that is off limits to Alice. After meeting a talking cat who is willing to sneak her in, Alice opens a book and suddenly finds herself inside it - and the only way out is by conquering the dangerous creatures within. Alice has stumbled into a world where all of magic is controlled by Readers through books - she must open more books, face increasingly powerful foes, be the lead character in the quest to find a happy ending.
I’ve been a fan of Django’s for quite some time and to be honest whilst I know he writes cracking adult fantasy titles I was more than intrigued to see how he would handle a book for a younger audience.
Whilst still a fantasy, the book doesn’t talk down to the younger reader, it gives them a crackingly complex story that keeps them not only glued but also allows them to have a story that is beyond simple linear tales that they’re normally exposed to. For me I loved it as I thought it was not only refreshing but something that entertained as well as fascinated the reader whilst giving them a great set of concepts to explore and whilst as an adult I can easily digest things, for me the proof was in the pudding when I was reading it to one of my nephews who couldn’t get enough.
All round, Django has brought an idea that’s fresh to a younger audience and treating them as he would his normal audience. Finally wrap up, great pace, great twists and a solid lead character all round sets this up as something special. Great stuff.