Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones
|Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Brilliantly written and beautiful to look at, this exciting adventure will thrill children (and adults!) of all ages.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 312||Date: April 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
Raised as a monster and sent to a freak show because of the hair that covers his body, Wild Boy is loathed and feared by nearly everyone, but has an incredible power of observation. When he's accused of murder, he's forced to run from the freak show and team up with circus acrobat Clarissa to try and clear his name.
Wild Boy's detective skills are fascinating - this will definitely appeal to the legions of Sherlock fans out there! - but it's also an action-packed adventure, while the uneasy alliance between him and Clarissa is fabulously portrayed. I loved the way it developed from the pair really disliking each other into being forced into respecting each other's abilities. In addition, the villains are well-written and there's a number of suspects as to who it is who's framed our hero - I guessed surprisingly early (by my standards; I'm hopeless at mystery-solving!) but was never very confident that I was right. What I really liked about the villains - and there's a few unsavoury characters here - is that all of their motivations were understandable and they felt realistic.
Add in some strong character development, particularly for Wild Boy, and a great ending which gives us a satisfying conclusion to this volume while setting up the upcoming sequel really well, and you have a wonderful read here.
While Lloyd Jones deserves a huge amount of credit for writing such a brilliant novel, publishers Walker should get nearly as much for turning it into such a beautiful book. It's got arguably the two best covers of all of the Branford Boase nominees - I prefer the hardback that I own, but the paperback is also truly gorgeous. In addition, the blurb on the back cover of both books is stunningly presented, in the manner of an old-style poster.
Overall, this is one to buy rather than borrow, both because it'll look lovely on your shelves and because it's one you'll no doubt want to reread. Really highly recommended.
The other book on the Branford Boase longlist which I love is The Poison Boy by Fletcher Moss, if you finish this one and want more exciting adventure, that's definitely a great one to move onto!
You can read more book reviews or buy Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones at Amazon.com.
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