Bookquotes: Quotes from Books(31)

“We are always trying to make time go at a different pace, as if it were an obstinate pony. Perhaps we should do better to let it amble along as it wishes,without taking much notice of it.”

–Elspeth Huxley, The Flame Trees of Thika (1959)

Image source: Pexels 

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Review: Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up

My thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for a review copy of this book.

Inmiddle school at one point my entire (almost, anyway) reading comprised ofNancy Drew. The library that I went to back then had all the different series–theoriginal books, the files, even the Dana Girls books, and I would issue acouple (or more) each time I went. As a child I had also read the BobbseyTwins. And later I also was hooked onto the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Supermysteriesthat featured both. So of course, when I saw this book on NetGalley, I knew Isimply had to read it. This book isbasically a fictionalised account of the Stratemeyer Syndicate which created anumber of series of juvenile (children’s and teen) fiction from the early 1900sonwards, and whose titles continue to be published to this day. The book beginswith the founder and brains behind the syndicate, Edward Stratemeyer, whoseendless ideas gave birth to many many stories, and moves on to his daughters,Harriet Adams and Edna, essentially Harriet who took on the reins of thecompany after Stratemeyer’s sudden death and carried on the business. It alsotells the stories of some of the numerous ghostwriters who wrote these stories,based off of the outlines that Stratemeyer and later Harriet provided them, butthe focus amongst these is Mildred Wirt Benson who wrote many of the initialNancy Drew stories besides other books for the syndicate, as well as manyothers under her own name. We enter into their lives, get a glimpse of theirpersonalities, of course their work, and the question of which of them couldclaim to be the real Carolyn Keene. The story is anchored around litigationthat took place in the 1980s between Harriet Adams and Grosset and Dunlap, thepublishers over their contract to publish the syndicate’s titles.

Assomeone who enjoyed not only Nancy Drew but some of the other series that the Syndicate brought out, I really enjoyed reading this book. Edward Stratemeyer was a real genius and a fascinating person to read about. One can only be in awe at the sheer amount of ideas that his mind generated. It is also intriguing to see how he was so forward thinking in some ways and yet conservative in others, but overall I found him to be very likeable. Admiration and awe combined with some liking and sympathy are feelings that come into mind over Mildred Wirt Benson as well, who was a pioneer in many ways, intrepid, ready to take on challenges, and one who wrote articles for the paper where she worked and could fly a plane till her dying day (when she was all of 96!!!). Harriet Adams was also worthy of admiration (this word is coming in a lot in this review, isn’t it?) for the way she took charge of and ran the company, facing various challenges, including from her own family, even though she wasn’t in the same mould as her father. But while I did admire her, even feel a little sympathy for her at places, I didn’t really take to her or her sister (as adults). I enjoyed reading how all their stories played out, and in them how some of our favourite stories came into being. While I had a general idea about the Syndicate and that they used ghostwriters including Benson to write their various titles, I had no idea before reading the book just how many books and series they were responsible for. This was a really interesting read, which led me to discover a couple of really fascinating personalities as well!

Review: All these Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth

My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Children’s UK for a review copy of this book.

Thisyoung adult mystery is the story of Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Calloway, the daughterof a real estate mogul who attends a post prep school, Knollwood Preparatory.She has just received an invitation to be inducted into the very secret club,the ‘A’s’ at the school for which she (and other initiates) will be given threedifficult challenges which will get them to push many boundaries. But Charlie’slife is plagued by another mystery—her mother disappeared ten years ago,literally all of a sudden, and no trace has been found of her. Grace Callowaywas from an ordinary, working class background so the Calloways only think theworst of her—her being a gold-digger and such. On the other hand, her mother’sfamily and friends believe Charlie’s father had something to do with hermother’s disappearance. When Grace’s brother, Charlie’s uncle Hank contacts herwith some information about Grace, she decides to start looking into thematter. As the story proceeds, we start to see different events in differenttimelines from the perspective of Grace, and also of Alistair, Charlie’sfather, besides Charlie herself. Going back and forth in time, the differentpieces of the puzzle start to come together.

While this was a mystery, one of my favourite genres, it was very different from the mystery stories I usually read, with the prep school setting, and Gossip Girl vibes (as the description itself said). But still I found it to be a pretty interesting read. I liked how the story switched between different timelines and viewpoints, which meant that at times, the reader had learnt more about the characters’ (Charlie’s parents and friends and relatives) complicated (very) backstories than Charlie had at that point, and one was waiting to see how she finds out and how it helps her put the puzzle together. Being in a school setting, there are the usual school storylines moving on alongside—escaping curfew, classes,homecoming dance, and even a touch of romance. Though most of the students are the typical prep-school rich kids (a la Gossip Girl), one does like Charlie,even if not many of the other characters. As far as the mystery itself was concerned, it turned out that there was more than one puzzle that needed solving, but about less than halfway into the book, one could more or less workout what the broad answers to the mystery would be and how the two main mysteries were connected. But despite that, I found the book did have me hooked and reading on, both because I wanted to see whether I was right, and how things would turn out for the characters. Also the whodunit I only figured out a little later. Although about 500 pages long (a little over in fact) the book didn’t feel like it was dragging at any point, and kept me interested all through. My rating: 4 stars for this one—for a mystery to get full points from me, it really has to surprise me or have a twist I didn’t see coming, which this one didn’t really. But still, it was a very enjoyable read.

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I’m sure as readers nearly all or perhaps all of us are part of goodreads. For me, I started with Shelfari, which I still miss, but eventually I did create a goodreads account which was good since they did away with Shelfari. There are of course plenty of readathons and reading challenge that happen annually and periodically, and those may be I’ll write about at some point later, but today I just thought of the personal challenge that I set myself on goodreads and about your challenges as well.

Last year I’d set my goal at a hundred books which I finished only with a last minute (of course not a literal minute) but December reading sprint to catch up. So it was nearly 19 books last year, and 25 I think the year before–a lo of these were children’s books and a couple of times I ended up discovering fun series that I did know about earlier like the animal stories by Thornton Burgess or the Miss Pickerell books by Ellen Macgregor.

But yet once again, I upped my challenge to 108 books,because 9 books a month doesn’t sound so much. There are months this year that I have read 11 books but also months that I have read far less, so it doesn’t average out to 9 a month. Currently I am 12 books behind my challenge, so I’m guessing there will be another reading spree in December, unless I can pick up some pace now. Next year I hope to be a little more sensible and set my goal at a lot more achievable number. If I exceed it, it’s only good, but at least I won’t stress over not finishing (which I know is a silly thing to do, but I do it all the same).

Anyway, do you set a challenge for yourself on goodreads or otherwise? Do you try to challenge yourself or simply set achievable goals? Is it something that you do to push yourself to read more or simply a fun thing to participate in? What goals did you set yourself this year? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Shelf Control #21

Walker Books edition, 2017

Shelf Control is a feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and appears every Wednesday. This feature is all about celebrating the books waiting to be read on your TBR pile. To participate, all one does is picks a book from their TBR and writes a post about it–usually what the book is all about, what makes you want to read it and such.

My pick for this week, my twenty-first time participating, is probably among the most popular or the most popular book around, and one that deals with a rather serious theme. Of course, you’ve seen the picture already, and it is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.  

What It’s About: The Hate U Give is the story of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter, who lives in two worlds. She was born and raised in a poor neighbourhood, but attends a posh high school in the suburbs. After attending a party one night, she is being driven home by her friend Khalil. They are stopped by a white police officer who shoots and kills Khalil. Starr is the only witness, and what she says will not only impact her community but also put her life in danger. 

My Edition, Where and When I Got It: My edition is a 2017 paperback published by Walker books (same as in the picture above). This was ordered online last month.

Why I want to read it: Partly I guess because I’ve been hearing so much about this book all over. But also because it deals with an issue so very relevant to today’s world–while the specific background is of course relevant to the one part of the world, things like this do happen in other places as well, and it will be interesting to see how it is addressed in the book.

The Author: Angie Thomas is an American author from Jackson, Mississippi. The Hate U Give is her first novel, and is influenced by some of her own experiences and stories of like events she encountered in the news.

So, have you read the Hate U Give yet, or seen the film version, or both? What did you think of the book and/or the film? Did it live up to the hype surrounding it or did you think otherwise? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

#TheHateUGive #YoungAdult #AngieThomas

Children’s Book of the Month: Emil and the Detectives

 

Emil und die Detektive or Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner is a German children’s novel first published in 1929, and illustrated by Walter Trier. This was a book I first read sometime in primary school, and enjoyed very much. I always remembered the name but not much of the story, but then I found a Vintage Classics edition of this book a few years ago, bought it and read it again, and found it great fun. The edition I read is translated by Eileen Hall. I am not sure whether this is the same translation that I’d originally read, but one difference is that the currency in this one had been changed to pounds while I remember (though I don’t know how) that the original was definitely in marks. (The change again I think is pointless.)

This is basically the story of this young boy Emil who lives in Neustadt with his mother. His father who worked as a plumber is dead, and his mother works as a hairdresser to make ends meet. They are very poor and have to take great care of all that they have. Emil seems to be a good boy, who works hard at his lessons and also takes over the cooking when his mother is ill.  But of course, he had to try very hard to be good. Now in this story Emil is taking a train journey to Berlin on his very own for the first time. His mother is sending him to his aunt’s with 140 marks to give to his grandma, and a further 20 marks for himself (including his fare and such). This is money that Mrs Tischbein has worked very hard to save.

Emil is very excited about taking the journey, and keeps the money very safely. But when he boards the train, he finds his fellow passenger, a man in a bowler hat, doesn’t seem to be a very nice man at all. He tries to keep his wits about him but at some point during the journey falls asleep. When he wakes up, the man is gone and so is Emil’s money. He gets off the train at a different station than his destination, and trails the man (not wanting to call the police for a certain reason–a rather funny one). On the way he meets a local boy Gustav who wants to help him and assembles his other friends, who become a whole band of ‘detectives’. Emil’s cousin Pony also joins them. Together the children trace the thief, and prove to the police that the man had stolen Emil’s money.

This is a fun adventure which is one of those kinds that anyone might have–all in the real world and no elements of magic or fantasy. That makes it all the more enjoyable as, for a child at least, it could well have been something they could have fallen into, within the realm of possibility, so to speak. Of course, it is the kind where the children’s parents are conveniently away so that they can do whatever it takes to catch the crooks. What I liked about the book is also how the children, Emil especially, use their wits and brains to catch the thief, and to give the required proof to the police. Emil’s brains and daring earn him a fitting reward at the end as well, besides some fame and praise from many quarters.

 

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Walter Trier

Source: Anonymous [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The illustrations by Walter Trier are more or less line drawings of a kind but I liked them very much. The frontispiece, however has a proper illustration of Emil (black and white in my edition) in his dark blue Sunday suit. What I also liked about the illustrations was that rather than just a one-line description of what the image is supposed to represent, many of them have a small paragraph describing the object or person, adding details not in the story or some fun observations, or even a word of caution.

Emil and the Detectives is described as Kästner’s first major success and the only one of his pre-1945 works to escape Nazi censorship (See wikipedia here). In fact, wiki even says, it is his best known work even now. He is however, also the author of Lottie and Lisa, the basis for the Parent Trap, though when talking about that most of us think about the movie and few are aware of the book. Emil and the Detectives, which has been translated into nearly sixty languages, also has a sequel, Emil and the Three Twins, published in 1934 where Emil and his friends have adventures on the Baltic shore.

Have you ever read Emil and the Detectives or any other books by Erich Kästner? What ones and how did you like them? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

The Shakespeare Project: Macbeth Act II

This is the my second post on Macbeth, part of my Shakespeare project (read about that here). My post on Act I is here. These posts are not spoiler free so please don’t read on if this bothers you.

 

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In the first Act, the weird sisters had revealed two prophecies to Macbeth, and when the first of them came true on its own, he had decided to take some steps, no less than doing away with the King, Duncan, to ensure that the witches’ second prophecy also came to pass, rather than leave it to chance. He had some qualms about his plans and his thoughts, but Lady Macbeth takes it upon herself to convince him that he must indeed take those steps, if he is to achieve what is written for him.

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Macbeth and the Witches

Source: Folger Shakespeare Library [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D

In the opening scene of Act II, we find Banquo talking with his son Fleance. It is past midnight they realise for the moon has long set. Banquo says that he is tired but unable to get any sleep because of the nightmares that plague him–clearly, a result of their encounter with the witches. Macbeth arrives on the scene, and Banquo inquires of him why he isn’t in bed either, informing him that the King has long retired for the night, and also of the fact that Duncan is very pleased with the hospitality he has received and given gifts aplenty for the household and servants, as well as for his hostess. One can’t help thinking while reading that neither poor Duncan nor Banquo have the least idea what Macbeth and his Lady’s true feelings and intentions are towards him. Banquo also brings up the matter of the three witches, to which Macbeth replies that he doesn’t wish to discuss them at the moment but would like to talk about them with him later. Banquo is prepared to support Macbeth in whatever he does so long as he can do it with a clear conscience. Macbeth clearly has no such compunctions.

Meanwhile Macbeth begins to see a dagger with the handle pointed towards him, as though indicating or prodding him towards what he should do. He ponders over evil nightmares and the deeds of witches and over the murder that he must commit, finally setting off to actually do the dastardly deed.

The next scene opens with Lady Macbeth speaking about how the servants who were to be standing guard at Duncan’s door are drunk and drugged, and thinking that Macbeth must by now have done the deed. Macbeth’s voice is then heard, and she wonders whether the servants have awoken and their plans have been foiled. But her doubts are soon set to rest as Macbeth comes in and tells her that he has, in fact, killed the King. He tells her about how the servants did wake up, but then went back to sleep again.

 

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Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the Murder of Duncan

Source: Henry Corbould, wikimedia commons.

 

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Macbeth Kills Duncan

Source: Louis Rhead [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

But Macbeth’s own sleep is not so certain anymore. He has already begun to hear voices, ones that foretell that he, Macbeth has murdered sleep, and that he shall now have no more sleep. He tells Lady Macbeth this, but she feels he is becoming weak, cowardly, and telling him to gather himself together, wash away the evidence, and think like this no longer. Macbeth is now too scared to return to the scene of the crime and smear the sleeping guards with blood as they had planned, so Lady Macbeth takes charge. Now there are sounds of knocking scaring Macbeth some more. Lady Macbeth who is back now after putting blood on the guards’ hands tells him once again to get his wits together, and change into his nightgown so that no one will suspect them of any wrongdoing.

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Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after Duncan’s Murder

Source: https://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/workspace/handleMediaPlayer?lunaMediaId=FOLGERCM1~6~6~480794~133384

The scene changes and we meet a porter, who remarks on all the sounds of knocking that he has been hearing around. Once again he hears knocking, and imagines various people who might have been knocking at the door–a farmer? a tailor?. But before long, there is knocking at the actual gates (not mere sounds) and Macduff and Lennox, two noblemen enter. They are told by the Porter that all of them (the servants I assume) have been drinking till late, and expounds on the (mostly unsavoury) effects of drink.  Macbeth arrives and says that the King is not awake as yet, leading Macduff and Lennox to the King’s door as Duncan had commanded Macduff to wake him at a certain time. Lennox comments on how rough the past night has been, and some ill omens and sounds that he heard of. Macduff in the meantime had found the King murdered and comes out to tell the others the news. Horrified (Lennox, at least), Macbeth and Lennox raise the alarm. Lady Macbeth feigning ignorance, and Banquo also arrive, and are told the news.

John_Langford_Pritchard_as_Macduff_in_'Macbeth'.jpg

John Langford Pritchard as Macduff

Source: Richard James Lane, printed by Jérémie Graf, published by John Mitchell, after Alfred Edward Chalonhand-coloured lithograph [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Macbeth who seems to have gathered courage again, puts on the perfect act, saying how he should have himself died before hearing such news. Malcolm and Donalbain, the King’s sons are also told, and it is also revealed by Macbeth himself (with great pretense of regret) that he has dispatched the King’s guards who were found with blood all over  them. So not only has Macbeth done away with the King, he has also very neatly dealt with any possible threat that may have come from their revelations. He tries to justify himself for doing so. Lady Macbeth is carried out of the room, obviously feigning shock. Malcolm and Donalbain decide to leave going to England and Ireland, respectively, fearing that soon the daggers will be drawn against them.

In the final scene of this Act, Ross, another nobleman enters with an old man, discussing the horrific happenings of the night that has passed. Ill omens seen and ill happenings that followed are spoken of. Macduff enters, and the murder is discussed once again, Ross bringing up the matter of the two dead servants, saying that Macbeth should not have killed them. It turns out that since Malcolm and Donalbain fled the castle, they have made themselves the prime suspects in their father’s murder. So it seems that Malcolm, who had been named heir, is no longer a ‘thorn’ in Macbeth’s path, and has more or less removed himself from there. And so the witches’ second prophecy comes true as we find out Macbeth has already been named the King.

So in this Act, ill thoughts have been converted to ill deeds. While in the first Act Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were merely contemplating murder, in this one, they have gone past the point of no return putting their plans into action, Macbeth himself having killed the King. They have also managed to successfully shift the suspicion on the guards, and without their intending it, through Malcolm and Donalbain’s not-very-well thought out actions, suspicion has fallen on them, not even a hint of it touching Macbeth and his Lady.

But while they may have been successful in their plans, Macbeth isn’t a particularly strong character, and other impacts of his deed are beginning to tell on him, fear setting in, and voices beginning to haunt. Will he indeed have no sleep no more? The first murder committed, Macbeth soon after commits two others–the two poor guards lose their lives for no other reason than the threat they could possibly pose to Macbeth. On the one side, he seems to be falling to pieces, but on the other, he gathers himself together and puts on an innocent face whenever needed.

This Act was away from the realm of the witches but darker perhaps than their world with conspiracy, betrayal, and murder, and ill omens all around. Of course, the voices that begin to haunt Macbeth add to the atmosphere, making it darker and definitely a touch creepy. The effect of these would probably come through better watching the play performed rather than simply reading it.

What I wondered about (in fact also in the first Act) was about Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as characters. Macbeth seems to have qualms about what he is about to do, sometimes seems to lack the courage to do it (is even given the courage to proceed by Lady Macbeth), but he still does always go ahead and do what he has planned. When it comes to committing murder, he readily commits not one but three murders. Lady Macbeth is certainly the stronger character in many ways, she has made up her mind and is able to stick to it. I wondered though whether Macbeth’s doubts are indicative or some little conscience that he has left or whether one should see it as a sign of hypocrisy, as Macbeth merely trying to make himself seem better in his own eyes by having those doubts, for he might have fears but when it comes to doing the deeds, he has had no hesitation. He may have fallen to pieces, but when it comes to pretending before others that he is innocent, he betrays not a hint of fear.

What do you think? Is there a better character among the two, or do you think them equally bad/ equally human? What about this Act in general? What are your thoughts? Looking forward to hearing all about them.

 

 

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Malory Towers Challenge: Upper Fourth at Malory Towers

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Book #4 for my Malory Towers challenge. I would like to clarify that for this ‘challenge’ I’m only reading the original six books written by Enid Blyton herself. There are six further books by Pamela Cox which explore more of Felicity’s adventures. Read a little about them on the World of Blyton Blog here.

 

Upper Fourth at Malory Towers picks up a couple of terms after the previous book when Darrell and her friends were in their third form. Now they have spent some time in the Upper Forth taught by Miss Williams and are preparing to take their certificate exams. But that doesn’t of course stop school life from going on as it usually does. This is the first term in which Felicity has joined Malory Towers. Darrell is excited to show her little sister around and help settle her in, but before she can do that Alicia’s rather nasty little cousin, June, takes Felicity under her wing, and out of Darrell’s way, something the latter can’t approve. To add to the situation, Darrell has been made head-girl of the form, a post she is proud to occupy but her temper rears its ugly head again, putting everything that she’s been working for at risk. There are also new girls of course, the meek and unattractive Honourable Clarissa Carter, who Gwendolen (rather like St Clares’ Alison in this respect) is keen to befriend, and (non-identical) twins Connie and Ruth, opposites of each other in more than one way.

 

This was another interesting instalment in the series once again focusing on the girls’ different temperaments, and how this leads them to like or repel each other, and causes differences as well. At the end of the day, the message if one can call it that, which comes through is that one must be responsible for one’s own acts, face up to one’s own failings and deal with them if one wishes to be a good human being, not merely a winner of prizes and scholarships (the very same that Miss Grayling gives her new students each year). Some of the girls (Clarrisa, for one, Felicity another) must learn to see their ‘so-called’ friends for who they really are rather than the face they put on for them. Darrell must learn to face her temper and deal with it, or else face the consequences, just as Gwendolen must do for her deception and machinations. The twins have to learn to deal with each other’s personalities, and not get overshadowed by the other, while Alicia has to learn not to scorn other just because she has some gifts that others do not. For some these lessons have long-term results, but others merely fall back into their own ways.

 

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Another Cover (Harper Collins 1971): The girls having their midnight feast by the pool.

That was the serious side, but there is a lighter side too. This was the first of the Malory Towers books where the girls actually had a midnight feast (St Clares seemed to have far more), which is fun though it does get interrupted and has some unpleasant cosequences. They also play a trick, once again on the unsuspecting Mam’zelle Dupont, who doesn’t realise what is happening (not even once its all over), much to the amusement of the girls, and Miss Williams. And of course, there is the usual fun of term time, a picnic, games and swimming which some girls are excited about while others perpetually try to get out of, Belinda and Irene’s madcap antics, and the usual fun. All-in-all a good read again. I think I’m appreciating these better reading them now, than when I read them as a child.

 

p.s.: An interesting fact I learnt from this book was that EB was a regular contributor to Encyclopaedia Britannica on English fauna. I knew she wrote nature books and was very knowledgeable about nature (something that reflects in her other books too) but not that she was a contributor to Britannica too.

Book Review: The Last by Katherine Applegate

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My thanks to Penguin Random House Children’s UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this book.

 

This is the first of a fantasy adventure series, the Endling series, (I’m not sure how many books it has). Byx, our ‘heroine’ is a dairne, a dog-like creature who has opposable thumbs, can walk on two legs, and can speak. Their most valuable characteristic is their ability to tell when anyone (human or otherwise) is lying. Byx is the runt of her small pack, who themselves are the last few of the dairnes left in their land, hunted by humans and constantly needing to move about. One day, just before the pack has planned to move on, Byx sneaks off to take a last look at the sea, in which process she ends up rescuing and befriending a much smaller creature, Tobble the wobbyk. When she returns to her home, she finds her pack has been ruthlessly killed and she is the last of the dairnes left alive, an ‘Endling’. Now she must set off on a journey, accompanied by Tobble, and a young human girl Khara, who has actually captured them, to look for a home, or rather a place where according to legend other dairnes once lived. While this isn’t a very straightforward quest and their path is riddled with danger, Byx and her friends soon find that what they are looking for and what they are fighting is much bigger than any of them had realised when they started off, and there are very few along the way that they can trust.

 

This was a very enjoyable read for me. While it may be set in a fantasy world, many of the issues it deals with and throws up are things that are very much a part of (and relevant to) the world we live in. Most important among them is inequality, not only between the sexes, but also between different living beings—certain species being dubbed (and treated) inferior simply because they don’t do things like others do. Then there is the more important problem—of humans’ destructive nature. Their greed for money, power, control, to demonstrate their superiority has led them to destroy everything around them, and then hypocritically mourning their loss after the damage is done. It is a characteristic of the humans in this fantasy world, as it is in our real world.  [The fact that the book opens with a quote from Silent Spring pretty much conveys the message the book is trying to deliver.]

 

But coming back to the fantasy element, I enjoyed the world the author has created—fraught with danger though it may be—there are several interesting beings and places, all of which I thought very imaginative (there is even some language that she’s created for the different species). I would have preferred a map of the world to help me picture it better, but one was not included in the ARC. The main characters themselves are from different species who find themselves thrown together by circumstances, and who must learn to overcome their mistrust and understand each other for who they are. As a result, they develop some unlikely but strong friendships which was nice to see. The characters themselves are all very likeable, though I particularly found Byx, Tobble, and Gambler the felivet endearing, and liked the relationship that develops between them. The illustration of Byx and Tobble on the cover is pretty perfect, and is really cute too.

 

I liked that the author wrapped up the adventure (unlike some books which stop somewhat abruptly) although it is clear that the main quest will continue with more adventures and dangers along the way. Though this is classed as a children’s book, I think adults too would enjoy this read. Looking forward to the next instalment.

 

The author Katherine Applegate has previously won a Newberry Medal in 203 for her book The One and Only Ivan.

 

This book, The Last released on 1st November 2018.

 

#Endling:BookOne:TheLast #NetGalley