19 December 2009
Book Review: The Purloined Boy
Author: Mortimus Clay
Published: 2009 Pages: 250
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
Trevor Upjohn's dreams are disturbing. As he sleeps in his cot in Superbia, watched over by Guardians and bogeymen, he dreams of "home", a place he has been told is fictional, a word he has been told is dirty. These dreams lead him to The Guild and begins his adventure.
I love the concept of this book - you really should be scared of what's in your closet and it does want to eat you. All I have to say is - I knew it!
The two main characters of the book, Maggie and Trevor, are not fully developed, but they are both well-positioned for some interesting character insight in later books in the series. Trevor, the protagonist, has your typical "reluctant hero" persona, and Maggie has that whole spunky romantic interest thing going on, but their characterization is different enough to make them intriguing and likeable. The real character stars of this book for me were Maggie's uncle Epictetus and the Master Illuminator Ichabod.
Epictetus appealed to me in both his moderate, realist outlook on life and his superhuman kickassery. Ichabod is a crotchety old man who apparently has memory issues. Both of these men are Masters of the Guild, leaders of the resistance against Lucien, the head of the bogeymen. I think you know you are an adult when you read young adult literature and you immediately are drawn to the adults in the book.
There are some almost too familiar elements in the book. It is clearly the start of a quest narrative, a la Sword in the Stone. Also, the adults in the novel were at times frustratingly obtuse and stupidly ignoring or discounting the children. I've always had a problem with that part of young adult lit. At the same time, the premise of the world felt particularly unique, and I look forward to seeing how Clay continues to develop this world.
One portion of the plot which I found absolutely fascinating is the origins of the fight between the Guild and Lucien's bogeymen. I would tell you more, but I would hate to spoil it. Hopefully, future books in the series will delve deeper into this, revealing not only more about Lucien's strange journey, but also about the civilization that preceded this time. Hmm...that was probably very vague for those of you who haven't read the book.
Memorable Scene and Quote: Maggie is off to fish (fishing is finding children who are beginning to remember home) again, and Trevor's typical male goodbye was 'See ya'. Maggie, rightly so, is a bit miffed by his indifference. Fishing is, after all, a dangerous job. Originally, she decides to punch him in the stomach when she next sees him, but then this beautifully typical female thought pops into her head: "what if she were carried away by bogeys while he watched? She could see his face, twisted with remorse. 'I'm sorry Maggie!' she could hear him saying. 'I'm sorry I never told you how wonderful you are. You're the bravest girl who ever lived! Maggie, forgive me!' She smiled. Serve him right. Then he'd appreciate me. But it would be too late and he'd have to live with the guilt of it for the rest of his life." That's right sister - we know they'll appreciate us more if they are helpless in the face of our death!
If I've missed yours, let me know!
Bart's Bookshelf; Fyrefly's Blog; Reviews by Lola; Karin's Book Nook;
Question: Do you like to read books in a series as they come out or do you prefer to wait for all of them to be released?
FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the author in exchange for a glowing review. I'm not sure I upheld my end of the bargain, so I guess it's possible the author may track me down in an attempt to get the book back. Oh wait, the author of this book is dead, so that's highly unlikely.