Thursday, 14 June 2012

An Old Adult's Take On A Young Adult Novel


I read the book that I won on the excellent Caroline Smailes' blog the other day; Darren Craske's The Lantern Menace isn't aimed at old blokes like me but I have to say that I loved it. Here's the review that I posted on Amazon.


"The Lantern Menace is juvenile or young adult fiction so you may wonder what a fifty eight year old granddad is doing reviewing it. Well, I won a copy of the book on an excellent author's website and I knew that if she was promoting it there had to be something good about it.

And there's certainly more than something good. I'd describe it as great. It's great fun, has great pace and there's a great story there too. I've only read two fantasy novels before - The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings and, like those classics (and, I suspect many other fantasy books) The Lantern Menace involves a quest. Our young teenage heroes Finchley and Princess Castria set off with Rufus Lightfoot on their journey to recover a Limbo Lantern that holds pure evil (it's their fault that it's lost). They have plenty of exciting adventures along the way and the book is action packed throughout.

We usually associate the idea of fantasy with some sort of dark medieval atmosphere and, although there is an element of this - they journey by horse and cart - the language is up to date and the kids are very modern in their outlook; Castria goes for designer clothes and looks for her home decor in interior design magazines. This modernity adds a nice touch to the story and I love the way that author Darren Craske throws in plenty of jokes and clever asides (in brackets).

Although it's aimed at children, the book doesn't talk down to kids at all and uses a refreshingly advanced vocabulary - there's even a lepidopterist in there! Its written in a way that projects pictures into your head and I could see the action happening so vividly that I almost felt that I had watched a film rather than read a book (and what a good film it would make).

I know that both of my children would have loved this book and I'm absolutely sure that thousands of others will too."