Author – Joan Lennon
Year – 2008
Genre – Teenage Sci Fan
Recommended by my sister’s boyfriend Jamie
One thing is is stunningly commonplace in bookshops at the moment is Fantasy books written for teenagers. Since the explosion of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials, this seems to be the in vogue type of book around. I am a massive fan of fantasy, and never object to reading children’s books, so this is fine with me, but the only problem I find is that there is rarely anything to make me want to read one particular book over another. There are a few people I would read in a heartbeat – the aforementioned JK Rowling and Philip Pullman, plus the amazing Garth Nix (expect some of his books later in the year) – but aside from them I rely mainly on recommendations. Whilst not quite reaching the level Nix and the like, I feel that this recommendation has panned out, and Joan Lennon is definitely a name I will keep an eye out for.
The book is both on an island in the Hebrides, and in a parallel dimension (bear with me) where shapeshifters and horse demons live. A fifteen year old boy has the fate of his entire race on his shoulders, and through a seemingly poor set of decisions manages to collect a band of teenagers on his side instead of the heroes of history that he is expected to find.
So pretty standard fantasy ‘hero’s adventure’ fare. However, this is certainly not a bad thing, and by making the characters very likable, and by the addition of a talking ferret called Professor Hurple, it becomes a very engaging book. It helps greatly that the story is segmented into a series challenges that the group encounters so that when they reach the titular Seventh Tide you really feel for them.
If you like fantasy, then this is worth a shot as at the end of the day it is not a tough read.
To read Joan’s blog, click here