Creepy Caves (Elf Girl and Raven Boy) by Marcus Sedgwick and Pete Williamson (illustrator)
|Creepy Caves (Elf Girl and Raven Boy) by Marcus Sedgwick and Pete Williamson (illustrator)|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: The conclusion to a great knockabout fantasy series for those of primary school age – and fans of witty action.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: February 2015|
|Publisher: Orion Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
We've come a long way together, Elf Girl, Raven Boy and I. I wasn't there quite at the start of their adventures, but jumped on at a suitably early stage, and met up with them a bit here and there since. It was obvious from the start, when all six alliterative titles were announced, that the final battle would be the pair – and his rat called Rat – battling the Goblin King. But there was little clue to just how frolicsome the action would be, nor what ungainly band of friends (and enemies) would combine with them for this, the final episode.
They do read as episodes rather than full books, as they're low on word count to favour the less eager reader – less eager, that is, before they turn to books such as these. They also drop the recapping, meaning the flow from one book to another is brilliantly easy and fluid – just what you want now that the shelf is full of these splendid volumes and you can turn the combined thousand pages and pore over the whole adventure again and again. There's inventive use of magic, suitable jokes regarding fantasy species of yore (idiot trolls, nasty goblins and more) and just the right amount of spookiness and darkness for the young child.
Here there does almost become too large a gang of allies on the quest, for their separate comeuppances mean the first half of the book concludes a bit episodically and therefore some people and their fates are forgotten, and Sedgwick does seem to repetitively announce how he's got his subterranean worlds to be illuminated. But quibbles are petty at this stage – this has been a sterling work, providing a healthy amount of fun for the target audience, which will find nothing to fault. As regards our star rating, you ought to feel free to disregard it for this volume – it is a little choppy and patently absurd to expect this to be a standalone work – but it's definitely based on my experience of the very good collection of episodes this whole story is formed from. It's been a rollicking set of titles.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
The series started here. A similar audience is sure to get much from Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis.
You can read more book reviews or buy Creepy Caves (Elf Girl and Raven Boy) by Marcus Sedgwick and Pete Williamson (illustrator) at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Creepy Caves (Elf Girl and Raven Boy) by Marcus Sedgwick and Pete Williamson (illustrator) at Amazon.com.
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