Sunday, November 20, 2016

Gold top ten in the Book Bag


It is always a great lift when you book gets a bit of recognition and I am absolutely delighted that the Book Bag has chosen it as one of their top ten for 2016.

 
 


This is what the reviewer says about it. What is so rewarding about this review is how well the reviewer got into the minds of my characters.

Twins Starn and Esper are growing up in a world made dark and silent by massive volcanic explosions. Ash now covers the planet and every aspect of life is controlled by the government, policed by the strict, heavy-handed Sagittars. They long for sunshine, fresh air and the freedom of a life only vaguely remembered by a few. But a game of dares leads them to discover an ancient book written by their great-great aunt, filled with strange writing and a treasure map. This propels them headlong into a journey across the darkened skies in a hand-built glider, in search of the gold that will vastly improve their lives. What they find there is a hidden world; one left behind when the volcanoes exploded. The revelation of the gold is not at all what they thought it would be, and is a discovery that could expose the governments' lies and save a dying planet. 

With exceptional crafting and a delicate hand, Mills has created a portrait of an unnerving future world while environmental calamity has stripped all light, save from that that exists in the lives of two young boys. Through their dreams, imagination and daring, the reader is taken on a marvellous journey. Gripping and compelling, the boys venture from a world of darkness, regulation enforced by fear and mere survival to one of light, possibility, growth and freedom. The juxtaposition of the two is explored and balanced perfectly through use rhythm and cadence in the text. The use and invention, or rather evolution of language plays both on myths and legends of old as well as a contemporary understanding of how words and communication change in ever-changing times. 

The characters are tangible and textural and the relations ring true. Starn and Esper are two sides of the same coin, and must follow their own wisdom and hearts while working together creating a wonderful and moving dichotomy. When one twin loses all memory, we see the struggle of the other to regain a sense of grounding and stability in this brave new world; something he can only do with the help of the other, creating a powerful statement about the true nature of inter-dependency. And while there are environmental and social messages in the story, these take a back seat to the purpose of the tale; an imaginative and wondrous adventure in the vein of such classics as Treasure Island and The Swiss Family Robinson. Never too heavy or dark and packed with adventure, it is interspersed with humour and child-like wonder. It is exciting, dramatic and filled with nuance and beauty. Written with clarity, compassion and purpose, Gold is open enough to allow the reader to fulling engage; come to his or her own conclusions; paint his or her own pictures in the realms of imagination. An amazing story, filled with life, Gold is a story to be treasured. This book simply sings!

 If you want to see the other books chosen in this list, click on the following link:


Top Ten Teens Books for 2016

1 comment:

  1. Hi Geraldine. Thanks so much for sending me your book, which I received this week from the Tribune. Your note referred to a piece I wrote about man-bashing, so I wondered how long your parcel might have been sitting at the Tribune offices... I'm truly sorry if you sent it a while back. They are not good at letting me know about such things.
    Thanks so much for your kindness and for reading my blather. I've started reading Hellkite and am enjoying it.
    I too love Connemara and also live in Roscahill. My email address is cadley1@eircom.net. If you email me I will send you my phone number. It might be good to meet, have a walk and a chat about scribbling and turloughs...

    All the best
    Charlie Adley

    ReplyDelete