The Piper by Danny Weston

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The Piper by Danny Weston

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Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Martha Gleeson
Reviewed by Martha Gleeson
Summary: A gripping horror story, tension filled from start to finish. A few small things let it down but still makes for a great read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 259 Date: October 2014
Publisher: Andersen Press
ISBN: 9781783440511

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Peter and Daisy are evacuated on the eve of World War Two to The Grange at Romney Marsh. Something seems wrong from the moment they get there: there are children dancing in the garden and strange music that plays at night. When Peter realises that Daisy might be in danger he’s willing to do anything he can to fill the promise he made to his mother, keep his sister safe.

The characters and storyline are all gripping and make you want to keep on reading. One of my favourite things about this book was the way tension was built up continuously throughout the story. From the prologue I was already gripped by the storyline and where this was going. One of the most impressive things was how, even during the relatively dull scenes, the tension was still there as an undertone that kept you reading. Sometimes, during the downtime in books the pace can lessen and mean you aren’t as gripped by the story. With this book that wasn’t the case as even the downtime had lingering tension which was well constructed.

One of the things that made me lower my rating a bit was the fact that when reading I noticed Weston used quite a few cliches throughout the book. The fact that on only the sixth page it says ‘like moths to a flame’ made me lower my expectations of the book a bit. I’ll generally let cliches slide if they add something to the piece or can’t be avoided to a certain extent, but I felt with quite a few of the instances Weston used them, there were other options that could’ve been more effective. I guess it just felt a little bit lazy in the places where Weston fell back on cliches to get his point across.

Something I really liked was the way the narrative returns to present day every so often to show how Peter was reacting to retelling the story and showing Helen’s, his granddaughter, reaction as well. However, I felt that after the first chapter, which is set in the present, Weston waited just a bit too long to return again. It had been long enough that I wasn’t expecting it to return to the present again until the end and so when it did jump forward it was quite jarring.

The other main reason for the lowered rating was the fact that Weston split the book into three parts but didn’t use it fully. To my mind, if you split a book into sections or parts, I would expect those parts to either be in a different perspective or to have a large jump in time, or some other good reason. When I was reading this book, I could not find any reason why it needed to be split up and so I was more irritated that it wasn’t left as a whole because that would’ve flowed a bit better.

Overall, The Piper is an easy to read, tension-filled book with a gripping storyline and distinctive characters. The few things that let it down were more about the writer’s choices of words and structural techniques than the actual plot which means that it still makes for a great read.

We also have a review of Weston's Scarecrow.

If this book appeals to you, then you might enjoy My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick.

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Buy The Piper by Danny Weston at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Piper by Danny Weston at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Piper by Danny Weston at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Piper by Danny Weston at


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