Thursday 5 March 2015

Review on 'Crow Boy'

After the sudden break up of his parents, Tom Afflick finds himself being forced to move from his hometown of Manchester to Edinburgh to live with his mother and her new boyfriend. Tom misses his old friends, and despises his classmate, who bullies him relentlessly. When Tom goes on a school trip to Mary King's close, he gets transported to 1645 where the plague is terrorising the streets of Edinburgh. After Tom gives a young girl dying from the plague some antibiotics, the plague doctor decides to take Tom on as his apprentice. However, the doctor is not all that he seems, and charges his patients a large sum of money for his visits. Tom must show the doctor as the fraud he really is, while dealing with the most important matter of all, how is he going to get back to his own time?

I thought this was a really clever and interesting story. I enjoy both historical and fantasy novels, so putting both of these genres together was brilliant. I loved that the story was set in Mary King's Close, as putting a fantasy story into a location where the plague had actually happened in real life was a unique idea, as the majority of fantasy books are also set in a fictional location. Tom was an interesting character who seemed to quickly adapt to the situation he was in, as although he was getting thrown from 1645 back into an alternate reality of his own time and back again, he only ever seemed to be out of the loop of what was going on for a few moments. I also loved Morag, as she was a no nonsense type of character, and although she seemed skeptical about Tom's time travel story, she became a good friend to him and tried to understand what was going on with him.

I found parts of the story to be quite confusing. Although I loved the alternate reality with his parents, and certain aspects of 1645 blurring into it, I felt that the alternate reality of Tom arriving at the close on his school trip to not make much sense. I liked the idea of Tom being able to see things that his parents, who actually belonged in that reality couldn't, but I personally felt that it made no sense for Missie Grierson to be in an alternate reality with him and for other people belonging in that reality to also be able to see her.

Throughout the novel there is the on going question of “Is this really happening, or is it going on inside of Tom's head?” What we get told from a young age is to never write “it was all a dream,” and I found myself worrying that this terrible cliché would happen and ruin an overall great novel. I find this ending to be quite lazy on an authors part, so I was glad that some proof of it actually happening was given in the last couple of pages. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Fans of Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz will definitely love this book. 

You can purchase Crow Boy HERE

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog and I love it! Your reviews are so honest and detailed. I'm taking notes on what books I should try out :)