Books 5 and 6 of this weekend are well and truly read, bringing me to a total of 1,798 pages read in 8 hours 55 minutes.
An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons. Indigo.
Seven-year-old Chris and Imran are sworn blood brothers.
Ten years on they are treading seperate paths. The spectre of terrorism has wrecked their friendship. It has changed their lives and could even end them.
A story of two ordinary boys growing up in an extraordinary time – our time. A time of terror, when atrocities don’t happen in the TV reports about people in far away places.
Rioting, fighting, maiming, and killing are happening here, on our doorstep.
Wow. What a book! It tackles a pretty big and tricky topic, and it does it so well. I paused a few times to marvel at how well balanced it was, you get to see both Chris and Imran’s sides of the story. The book’s written in such a way that you feel like you have an understanding of why they, Imran in particular, make the decisions that they do but whilst it tries to explain things it never tries to justify them.
Structurally this book’s quite complex, there’s the storyline of what’s happening the day the book is set and then there’s the storyline of what happened to the two boys from the time they were boys right up until the day the book is set. These two storylines are skilfully woven together, and told from both perspectives so the reader really gets a sense of the characters and their relationships.
There’s a real sense of peril throughout the book. The opening chapter sets up an end point for both storylines and I found as I got further and further through it my heart started racing a little faster, wondering how it was all going to resolve.
All in all, an impressive read, and one that’s made me determined to read more by Alan Gibbons.
Hidden Among Us by Katy Moran. Walker Books.
When Lissy meets a mysterious and strangely beautiful boy on her way to Hopesay Edge, she is deeply unsettled by their encounter.
She discovers that the boy, Larkspur, is a member of the Hidden, an ancient group of elven people, whose secrets lie buried at Hopesay Reach. Before long, Lissy and her brother Rafe find themselves caught by a powerful magic and fighting to escape a bargain that can never be broken.
I’d read enough reviews of this book to know that it wasn’t going to be what I expected, and it certainly wasn’t. This is a fantasy book, with fae creatures and lore, and a great thriller sense running through it.
I did find it a little slow going initially, but I think that was a lot to do with my not quite working out how the various characters were linked to one another – I flicked back and forwards a few times trying to work out who was related to who. Once I got my head round this I found the book absolutely whipped by.
I liked that this book felt original, I think the characters really worked in this respect – they were well developed and felt like individuals. So much of the focus of this book was on the characters, what they’d done in the past, how they were acting now and I loved this.
I loved the dark and twisty nature of this book, whilst I was very satisfied by the conclusion I would welcome a follow up book so I could see what happens next.
This is the end of my first day of the 48 Hour Book Challenge. I’m thrilled with what I’ve achieved so far and looking forward to another good day of reading tomorrow. I’m also thrilled with how the total on my sponsorship page is slowly rising – there’s still time to sponsor me if you would like to, the link is here.