Mousebeard's Revenge (Mousehunter Trilogy) by Alex Milway
|Mousebeard's Revenge (Mousehunter Trilogy) by Alex Milway|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A decent trilogy-closing romp through wicked shenanigans in the world of rare mice. And pirates. And warmongers.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: January 2010|
|Publisher: Faber Children's Books|
If you started this trilogy way back when, you would probably never expect the pirate, Mousebeard, and the hero and heroine, Emiline and Scratcher, to be working together. But they are - so deep is the world of Old Town in intrigue, subterfuge and wicked plans, that they need to combine forces - and get other returning characters back on hand and on their side - to counter Mousebeard's enemies once and for all. Only, one great thing has changed. Yes, that's right. Mousebeard has had a shave...
For fans of this series back after an inordinate wait since book two came around, I can happily report that we are back in Old Town for the duration, and the skullduggery is in full flight. It's a great romp to find out just who is planning what - why is one baddy intent on moving on? How will Mousebeard hope to win in the end, when he's escaped the Old Town gallows once already? And just what can you do with - and what might one do FOR - a Golden Mouse?
Yes, for the newcomer, there are several elements to the book that delight - the illustrations (by the author) and the design of it all, for one, but the foremost is the nature of this world, and its mice. The whole economy seems to have some connection to the hunting and collecting of rare and exotic mice - poisonous ones, flying ones, aquatic ones... I suspect one or two grouses will say the pages from the Mousehunter's Almanac that are interspersed here at the end of every chapter spoil what is, courtesy of Milway's fine writing, a great narrative flow, but they always make me smile.
A lot more does too, as the relish of the plotting is to the fore. So often do we see a decent twist to the conspiracies, a surprise for someone, or a bit of well-wrought daring-do by someone else, that the pages can only race by.
However, if I have a quibble it is that there is, if anything, too much plot, and as a result the narrative fragments too much, with a lot of people in different combinations in different sections of the story we have to switch between. There is a time-bending too often when we play catch-up with each story strand that the younger edge of the audience may not cope with. Perhaps it also shows the characterisation is too much on the brisk and shallow side, that without books one and two fresh in our mind, we need to concentrate too much on who is whom.
And one of my main questions above is never satisfactorily answered.
Still I feel there is enough freshness here to earn four valued Bookbag stars. For the returning fan the necessity of reading this to the explosive end will make my rating redundant.
I must thank the publishers' kind people for my review copy.
It is with great pleasure that I see Milway has already made great guns with his next series, apparently to feature some comedic yeti soldiers. I could hardly wish for someone more appropriate to bring them to the page.
For a very different approach to a different kind of mammal, we heartily recommend The Quest of the Warrior Sheep by Christopher Russell and Christine Russell.
You can read more book reviews or buy Mousebeard's Revenge (Mousehunter Trilogy) by Alex Milway at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Mousebeard's Revenge (Mousehunter Trilogy) by Alex Milway at Amazon.com.
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