Archibald Lox and the Slides of Bon Repell: Archibald Lox series, Volume 2, book 2 of 3 by Darren Shan
|Archibald Lox and the Slides of Bon Repell: Archibald Lox series, Volume 2, book 2 of 3 by Darren Shan|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: The plot thickens some more as Archie faces the hardest trial of his journey into the Merge so far. Can he protect his friends? Some trademark Darren Shan jeopardy in this instalment. We were on the edge of our seats!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 163||Date: August 2021|
|Publisher: Home of the Damned|
|External links: Author's website|
So. Having done the impossible and unpicked the lock to the Forgotten Crypt, from which the Departed communicate with the Merge, Archie now has grop to think about. But before that, soirees. Soirees! Archie, much to Inez's amusement, doesn't even know what one of those is. But he manages to come through the fancy party unscathed, even after an uncomfortable encounter with Kurtis, whose fledgling romance with Inez was crushed in the first volume of this series.
Worries about Merge politics and the plan to kidnap/rescue* (*depends on your perspective!) a young royal fade into the back of Archie's mind as the Tourney begins. Grop is the street football of the Merge. It's violent and physical and above all exhilarating. Fair play in the Merge isn't the same as fair play in our world of the Born and, with a ticket to every match, Archie gets drawn further and further in and shares in the excitement - when he isn't rushing in to patch up the injured, that is.
But all that excitement makes Archie and Inez drop their guards. Inez, keen to rekindle a friendship with Kurtis, is persuaded to visit the Slides of Bon Repell, a tourist attraction that had fallen into disrepair but is being renovated. Archie goes along too. But all is not as it seems. Archie finds himself alone, fighting not only for his freedom but also his very mind, pitted against the worst the Merge has to offer...
... ooh! This was a good instalment in Shan's latest series. There are a couple of fantastic set pieces in the grop games, which feel almost as exciting to read about as they are dangerous to play. But just as you're lulled into a false sense of security, jeopardy sneaks up and catches you, just as it catches Archie. The tension in the latter half of the book is of a different shade altogether - it's a war of attrition between Archie and his captors. Can the young longsmith buy himself enough time to be rescued? Who knows with Shan? He's not one for the easy happy ending and I'm not going to spoil anything for you!
Aside from all the action, our guessings at the deeper reasons for Archie being called to the Merge are given another clue in this chapter of the story. What is Winston not saying? Why is Archie not ready to hear it? I have my suspicions and I'm sure you'll have yours too. I wonder if we suspect the same thing? Or not? And which of us is right?
Let's reconvene after the next book and talk about it then! You'll find our review of the first book here.
If you enjoy short, sharp, thrilling, episodic stories, you could try Blade: Playing Dead by Tim Bowler. It's not set in a fantasy world but it sure does get those reading juices flowing!
You can read more book reviews or buy Archibald Lox and the Slides of Bon Repell: Archibald Lox series, Volume 2, book 2 of 3 by Darren Shan at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You could get a free audio download of Archibald Lox and the Slides of Bon Repell: Archibald Lox series, Volume 2, book 2 of 3 by Darren Shan with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
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