Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Catch the Zolt by Phillip Gwynne

Dom Silvagni is nothing special, sure his family has money and he is a pretty good middle distance runner, but other than that he is pretty ordinary.  Pretty ordinary, until his father and grandfather reveal that now he is fifteen he has to complete six tasks for the Dent, tasks to settle a debt one of his family agreed to in the very distant past.  His father completed his tasks, but his grandfather didn't and his missing leg is a grim reminder that if Dom fails to complete his tasks that the Debt will literally take their pound of flesh instead.

When  his first assignment arrives Dom is convinced he is doomed to failure from the start - he has to catch the Zolt, a teenaged one-man crime spree who has been going all Robin Hood on the holiday homes of the rich on Reverie Island.  When he learns that the Zolt has already been captured it seems as though it truly is an impossible task - but things are not what they seem.  Dom is about to see just how far he can push himself and what he is really capable of.

Catch the Zolt is the first of six books in The Debt series.  This was an interesting read for me as I didn't actually like the book that much for the first 100 pages or so because it reminded me a little too much of other books, but I also couldn't put it down because it was relatively well written and I wanted to see where the series was going.  The fact there are six books in the series makes it pretty obvious that Dom is going to succeed at least some of the time, but I did get a little hooked to see what would happen and how far fetched the storyline would get - and I was pleasantly surprised by how realistic the storyline stayed as the story progressed (realistic as far as these things go).

This series feels a little too much like Conspiracy 365 for my taste, mainly I think because it is a serialised story, because it involves things starting with a significant date, and because it is based around an Australian teenager.  I do think though that my review is somewhat tainted by the fact that I am an adult and an adult female - quite removed from the teen male audience this series is obviously written for.  This is the kind of story that I would give to my teenage nephew and I would recommend it to teen readers at work so try it and see what you think. 

There have been some good series out of Australia over the past few years, mainly written by young male writers and The Debt looks like it could translate relatively easily to readers in other countries if they enjoy high octane stories driven by the action rather than the relationships, with a touch of drama just to round out the story.

If you like this book then try:
  • The arrival by Chris Morphew
  • The recruit by Robert Muchamore
  • Conspiracy 365: January by Gabrielle Lord
  • Agent 21 by Chris Ryan
  • The lab by Jack Heath
  • Mister Monday by Garth Nix
  • Thyla by Kate Gordon

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment