Archibald Lox and the Vote of Alignment by Darren Shan
|Archibald Lox and the Vote of Alignment by Darren Shan|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Very satisfying third and final instalment in the first volume about Shan's new world of The Merge and its hero, Archie. Finally, we discover Inez's secret, but not before a mad game of grop (I'll never play this game) and a terrifying cliff climb.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 286||Date: March 2020|
|Publisher: AS LISTED ON AMAZON|
|External links: Author's website|
Okay. We'll begin.
This third and final book in the first volume of Darren Shan's new Archibald Lox series sees Archie and Inez make it almost all the way to the Cuckoo's Nest, where the Vote of Alignment will be held. But how will they get in? It seems like an impossible task but if they fail, another realm of The Merge will be under the control of the evil SubMerged. And when even Inez's plan B goes up in smoke, the odds are stacked against them. But Archie, the locksmith from the Born (our world) and Inez, a camel of The Merge are resourceful. Can they do it? Will Archie's nascent lockpicking skills be sufficient? And where, oh where, is the princess who holds the casting vote?
I'll not tell you, of course. But suffice to say that the end will leave you satisfied and even though there's no cliffhanger - thank heavens, I hate cliffhangers - your appetite will be whetted for more. These three short, sharp reads serve as a wonderful introduction to what I hope will be a long, expansive series. I've a feeling there's so much more to tell.
Most of the action occurs during two spectacular set pieces - a game of grop which sounds very much like the street games of football played before the rules were codified - and a dangerous cliff climb. Both are full of tension and courage and you'll read them with your heart in your mouth. Otherwise, the pace and setting is quite calm - for Shan, anyway! - as the final mysteries of Inez's mission are revealed. Poor old Archie guesses wrong, but I'll not give any more away than that.
We also get some new characters - my favourite was Pol the Rat. Rats are The Merge's version of street urchins. They steal things and submit to no authority except their own council but they're witty and sharp and capable of great courage when called upon. I hope we meet Pol again as this series progresses. And I hope he doesn't steal any more typewriters - The Merge doesn't have any computers! And you're not supposed to like any of the SubMerged but I'll confess a sneaky liking for a certain heir to a dukedom.
I read quite a lot during the seemingly endless lockdown but nothing made me smile quite as much as these first three instalments in the Archibald Lox series. It's always a pleasure to read anything by Darren Shan but here, he's given us something new, I think. We still have plenty of action, loads of wisecracks and jeopardy aplenty, but this series is slightly less nihilistic and takes its time developing the working of its world. I hope we don't have too long to wait before we meet Archie again.
Of course, recommended.
You can read more book reviews or buy Archibald Lox and the Vote of Alignment 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 can read more book reviews or buy Archibald Lox and the Vote of Alignment by Darren Shan at Amazon.com.===Comments===
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