Wrath by Marcus Sedgwick

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Wrath by Marcus Sedgwick

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A very well-evoked drama of a girl who might just be wholly in tune with the Earth, and the lad both in search of answers and of her.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 176 Date: March 2022
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1800900899

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Meet Fitz, a young Scottish lad full of frustration at himself. Lockdown is only just over, and he should be free to do what he wants, to go where he wants and with whom he wants, but he cannot stop himself from putting his foot in it when he talks to his best friend, Cassie. They were half of a desultory school band, but Cassie was also one hundred per cent the enigmatic – saying she could hear a subhuman hum coming from the earth. Is this connected with one of her eco-warrior parents saying the end of the world is already a done deal? Is it some spooky new kind of music she's dreaming of? Is she just bonkers? And can Fitz find out the truth? Well, not when Cassie has gone missing he can't...

This is a headline title from Barrington Stoke, and I have to bring their name to the fore even above that of Marcus Sedgwick, courtesy of the whole deal they bring to the table. For they are specialists in fiction for those with reading issues, disabilities – not just dyslexia but any lack of confidence, maturity or similar problem. This is a teen read (it's got the F-bomb, people are nearly winkers and so on) but no teen will have this in their hands and appear to be reading something a nine year old could understand. No, they'll just look like any regular reader might when they're a kid stuck head-first in a slightly weird and wacky mystery.

And all that's not to say this is not a Marcus Sedgwick book, first and foremost. It's an intelligent read, flashing to and fro across its timeline to give us a drip, drip of what happened before Cassie walked out. It observes humanity, coming through a global disease we can all recall, tentatively regaining freedom, and yet still teetering around on a spinning top of a planet we seldom care to fully know, and even more rarely care to look after. Only you will know whether you believe, from what we read here, in the hum, but either way you'll doubt your conviction.

It's a delightfully brisk read, building as it goes, even if it switches from past to present several times. The briskness is but one aspect of its conviction, its bravura style, its chutzpah – which culminates in you realising this is really a teenaged crush story, albeit one mentioning the end of the world at numerous times, and not metaphorically. It managed to speed me past the more implausible details of Cassie's experiences, and with its ecological message and look at the physics of the unknown world, proved to be quite a fascinating and layered drama for all of Sedgwick's many fans.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep by Philip Reeve is another we highly recommend for a sense of the wonder of the world being such a strong element of the story. And can we take this time to remind people of Marcus' equally adept brother, who started his publishing career with The Black Dragon (Mysterium) by Julian Sedgwick?

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Buy Wrath by Marcus Sedgwick at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wrath by Marcus Sedgwick at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy Wrath by Marcus Sedgwick at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wrath by Marcus Sedgwick at Amazon.com.

Wrath by Marcus Sedgwick Check prices, read reviews or buy from Waterstones. Waterstones currently charges from £2.75 for orders under £20, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Waterstones bookshop at no charge.


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