Friday, 26 February 2010

MISC REVIEW: The Price - Alexandra Sokoloff

A stone army, an enchanted castle, mysterious ancient powers - and some very clever tortoises - Olly finds there's more than meets the eye at Gullywith. When his family moves to Gullywith Farm, Olly just can't imagine being happy in his new home. Gullywith is the coldest house in the world and no one has lived there for years. Then Olly meets KK and she tells him locals won't go near the place. It seems to be jinxed but most strange of all, Olly notices that there are stones at Gullywith that can move around of their own accord. Stones with ancient markings on them. He feels sure that they are angry. Olly visits the mysterious Nonny Dreever to ask his advice and he tells them they must return the stones to Withern Mere. Olly is drawn into a world of myth, magic and midnight adventure deep inside the surrounding hills. What is the ancient power that controls the stones and can anything be done to end their hold over Gullywith? Susan Hill deftly weaves a tale of real life and enchantment to delight young readers.


Having read the first offering from Alexandra I thought that her second outing would be worth my time and picked it up sooner rather later. Conceptually it’s pretty solid and based on an ancient premise. “How far would you go for someone you loved.”

Secretly, I was hoping that it was going to be a great book, however it was long, drawn out, pretty boring and filled out with quite a lot of unnecessary padding. Add to this at least one glaring error and a predictable plot alongside an arc that started getting into the ridiculous becoming a Hodge Podge mess with the only saving grace being the authors twist at the very end of the novel that’s left to the readers imagination.

In a time of hardship when authors are judged not only on their first novel but also, perhaps more importantly upon their second, I really do wonder if Alexandra has it in her to create additional tales. It’s a great shame to be honest and this has left a pretty sour taste in my mouth leaving me to wonder if I should even pick up the next tale by her as it felt like she’d taken a step backwards in her writing skills from her original offering.

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