Atlantis Re-imagined: What’s in a Name Challenge

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It’s okay people, you can stop the phone calls to the Missing Persons (Creatures?) Department – I’m back! My recent absence (that you all noticed and pined over) was due to some difficulties with our interwebs connection. The fleshfolk who dwell here have finally sorted it out and I’m ready for a posting frenzy, beginning with Obstacle Number … something or other … in the What’s In a Name Reading Challenge: Surface Tension by Meg McKinlay!

surface tension

Taken from the: Non-Christie Listie (as a last-minute ring in )

Category: One – A book with Up or Down or its equivalent in the title.

“But Bruce!” I hear you interject, “That title doesn’t bear any relation to up or down or its equivalent!”

Ah yes. On the surface (pun intended), it would appear that this book has no up or down connection….but delve a little deeper (pun intended) and you will note that this tome has been recently re-released under the title….BELOW! Take that, category one!

below

Surface Tension (or Below) follows the story of Cassie – a young lass who was born on the day her family’s town was drowned.  Since Lower Grange was flooded after the creation of a dam in the area, Cassie, her friend Liam, and all the other residents have resumed their lives in the higher and drier New Lower Grange.  During summer holidays, Cassie and Liam take to swimming in the not-commonly-frequented side of the lake above Lower Grange and stumble upon a secret hidden away with the fish and lake-weed in the old town.

This Book’s Point of Difference:

McKinlay has created a refreshing take on the sense of mystery and adventure evoked by the image of a city hidden beneath the water – it’s a great premise and a nice change from the usual middle grade/YA fare around at the moment.

Pros:

– It’s a reasonably quick read but there is enough for middle readers and younger teens to get their teeth into

– The secret discovered by the kids is kept nicely hidden through the use of a few well placed red-herrings. It was a surprise for me – which was great, because two-thirds of the way through I thought (rather disappointedly) I’d figured it out. I hadn’t.

– It’s got that classic summer holidays feeling.

Cons:

– I can’t really think of any. It was certainly the book I’ve most enjoyed out of the last ten or so I’ve picked up.

This is a really well constructed little read and delivers just what you’re looking for if you’re after something light but a little bit different from the standard fantasy or friendship fare.

Ahhhh. It’s good to be back. Stay tuned for more Reader’s Challenge fare shortly, as well as a frustration-related Haiku and dates and themes for subsequent Fiction in 50s.

Until next time,

Bruce

Haiku Review: Hunter and Collector….

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And a Merry Easter season to fleshlings one and all! Mad Martha with you again, and although my review today would probably be better suited to the feast of All Hallow’s Eve, I will soldier on regardless.  Today I’ve got a little ripper of a book, Hunter and Collector, by S. Carey…Please note the fantastically punny word play of the author’s name….it took me a little while to notice it.

This is the first in a brand new Australian series for young readers, titled the Eerie series; obviously these stories are on the macabre side, but are sure to appeal as either read-alouds, or first chapter books for the slightly creepy mini-fleshling.

I was drawn to this series immediately due to the highly appealing cover art, and only later discovered the extra nugget of goodness in the books: an ongoing serial featured as a chapter at the end of each book, so that when all eleven stand-alone books are read in order, one ends up with a bonus story.  Another cute feature in the books is a little flip-picture in the top right-hand corner of each page.

So to the first book.  Hunter and Collector follows the exploits of appropriately named Mrs Hunter who is highly interested in young William for reasons unknown, but undoubtedly nefarious.  As the story progresses however, we find out that Mrs Hunter herself had better watch out, because young William seems perfectly capable of taking care of himself…..And so to the haiku review!

hunter-and-collector

Macabre contest ‘twixt

Alien and Predator

Hunter now hunted

At a mere fifty-four pages, this is a quick but satisfying read for horror-lovers of all ages (and hopefully, will turn out to be super-appealing to reluctant young male readers).  The first four books in the series have just been released in print and e-version, with more to follow later in the year.

Yours in sp-sp-sp-spookiness,

Mad Martha