Tiger-Lily Gold (The Silk Sisters) by Fiona Dunbar
|Tiger-Lily Gold (The Silk Sisters) by Fiona Dunbar|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: If the cover didn't tell you, this is a fantasy adventure for girls only - but probably a very good one, with an intriguing corporate enemy, likeable characters and tight plotting. If only the author could have been bitchy about things at the same time, we'd be talking a classic.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: May 2009|
Rorie and Elsie are two common tweenagers with a uncommon quandary. This is a few years in the future, and they are stuck in the middle of a potentially lethal fight against some horrendous Big Sister, that has sucked the world into celebrity, mind-controlled consumerism, and more - and has apparently kidnapped the girls' parents. After two books of unusual fantasy frolics we encounter them here, entering a hippyish community (yikes - odd, unfashionable clothes!; unwashed hair!), and mustering further friends, to go on the attack.
I say this is a fantasy as even without the enemy of Rexco, there is Rorie's ability to absorb the looks, personality and talents from dressing in their clothes. The parents are missed partly because they were on the verge of divulging some world-changing new ideas in clothes technology, and Rexco's methods - from mesmerising implants, to artificial islands for E-list celebs to survive together - are out of some science fictional dystopia. Technology takes an increasing importance in the story here, but is always accessible to us Luddites.
This then is quite a unique genre title, and one that could not be geared further towards the young female reader. Boys will have an innate phobia towards this, from the glitter on the cover on, and I was not ever going to read this on the bus. Beyond such slight caveats I don't think this is a failure for the target audience at all - it is not the easiest of books to get a grip on but those who had been on the journey from the first step will find no diverting recaps getting in the way of the opening here.
If I do say it is a failure, it is only in one regard - for the adult checking up on what their eleven year old is reading, they will see this is a glaring lost opportunity. This could have been a stinging rant against modern celeb-culture, the rule of the fashion police, and everything else. Instead it uses those when it needs to, and despite an opening note from the author concerning the evil of credit cards, there is nothing like the serious attempt to get the readers to abandon their weekly make-up shopping trips and think again.
It seems that if this series ever had this it has dropped it by the wayside. There is also little any longer in the way of this being wish-fulfilment - even though the levels of threat to the characters are always safely at the sensible level, there is no particular way we would wish to sit and daydream we were Rorie or Elsie on the evidence of this trilogy-closing title.
Instead there is an ever-increasing level of action writing, where Dunbar shows us her qualities. We have tense episodes, as the private police of Rexco are defeated by Rorie's dressing up, pre-teen attempts at espionage, and more. So the target audience - so alien to my old, male, self - I am sure are going to be satisfied, and I can assume that to start with the initial volume, and see the whole mythology of Rexco get opened to us over three speedy reads such as this one, would create a hit series.
I must thank Orchard Books' kind people for our review copy.
If this book appeals then why not have a look at Shark Island by David Miller?
You can read more book reviews or buy Tiger-Lily Gold (The Silk Sisters) by Fiona Dunbar at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Tiger-Lily Gold (The Silk Sisters) by Fiona Dunbar at Amazon.com.
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