Monster Mountains: Raven Boy and Elf Girl 2 by Marcus Sedgwick
|Monster Mountains: Raven Boy and Elf Girl 2 by Marcus Sedgwick|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Book two in this series, as the hopeful heroes set out to get revenge for the loss of their home forest – but ignore all the signs warning them off the dangerous mountains en route.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: November 2012|
|Publisher: Orion Books|
Meet, if you didn't last time, Raven Boy and Elf Girl. He's got a rat in his pocket, and can communicate with animals and birds, while she has a magical bow, but doesn't know how to use it properly. They don't have a home forest any more, as the Goblin King sent an ogre to demolish it. This is the first sequel amongst the series of six volumes, as they encounter different landscapes in turn on their way to confront him and put him to rights – somehow. Here they face the freezing cold, a giant yeti, the three evil trolls chasing them since book one for their supper – and Jeremy.
The benefits of a yarnspinner such as Marcus Sedgwick can be seen in that the book thrusts several things – avalanche, monster, this threat, that unknown problem – at the heroes for the first half, then settles down into one circumstance that has to be rectified for the second, and never does the pace slacken. The inventive use of things that I guess are obviously going to be problems for RB and EG given their whereabouts do seem to ensure that all six books in this series will have their own distinct character and flavour, while maintaining the warmly bickering status between the leads – and Rat.
The very quest nature of the plot, and the continuing saga the heroes face, mean this series is quite different to the author's Raven Mysteries, even if the audience will be the same – and will surely be as equally satisfied. The Tim Burton styling in the illustrations break up almost every double page spread with some form of illustration, and even if they make her bag vanish they are completely appropriate for the style of story. This is actually slightly less gothic than that previous series and the artwork, but it is a peculiar world, as the slightly alien nature of the children testifies, and their intelligence, the level of threat and the drama they face all sit perfectly easily on the page for the intended audience. The sense of humour works too, meaning that if anything can be faulted it is that the adventure only lacks a little edge to its personality, and a further quirk to make it stand out in the marketplace even more. Concerns, of course, nowhere near the minds of the average reader of this, and she or he will definitely be back for the rest of the cycle.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
Our first encounter with the Raven Mysteries can be found here.
You can read more book reviews or buy Monster Mountains: Raven Boy and Elf Girl 2 by Marcus Sedgwick at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Monster Mountains: Raven Boy and Elf Girl 2 by Marcus Sedgwick at Amazon.com.
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