Friday, 4 May 2007
‘Attica’ – Garry Kilworth
This book is from Orbit’s ‘Atom’ range for young adults, thanks to George Walkley for sending me a copy to review!
Jordy, Chloe and Alex have moved to a new house in a new town. It all seems really boring to begin with until the day that their parent’s elderly landlord asks them if they wouldn’t mind going into the attic to fetch his old watch… What they find at the top of the ladder is no ordinary attic but a magical landscape where everything that’s thrown into an attic (and forgotten) takes on a new and dangerous aspect. However, perhaps the most dangerous situation they will encounter is not the Ink Imps or the dreaded Removal Firm but whether they will actually want to leave the attic when the time comes for them to go home…
Despite some flaws; ‘Attica’ is a very engaging read (much like a ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ for the 21st century). The three children have greatly differing characters meaning that the book is three times as likely to appeal to it’s readership. The world of Attica is beautifully realised on paper and despite it’s dangers, I too was a little sad when it was time to put the book down.
To begin with, the plot was perhaps a little aimless but I’d put this down to the children’s indecision about where to go in the attic. As they gained purpose, so did the plot and I was certainly gripped by the end. The only other problem I had with the book was the author ‘info-dumping’ big chunks of prose about what was going on in each child’s head. Although this approach was probably taken with a young adult reader in mind I think it could have been done more effectively using the ‘show but don’t tell’ method of writing.
The ending is never in doubt but the landlord’s reaction to the children’s tale leant a small sense of anti-climax to the story.
All in all though, a quick entertaining read for the commute to work and a book that a younger reader will certainly be engrossed by.
Six and a Half out of Ten