Thursday, September 29, 2011

Northwood by Brian Falkner

This is the amazing (and possibly true) story of Cecilia Undergarment and her unplanned (and very dangerous) trip to the Northwood.  Everyone knows that you never enter the Northwood, and those that do are never seen again.  It's partly because the woods themselves are so dangerous, and because of the black lions that prowl within the shadows of the forest.  Cecilia didn't mean to go there, she was only trying to help an animal in need, but what she finds in the Northwood is more than just danger - she also finds mystery, intrigue, and a few wrongs that might need to be made right. 

Brian Falkner is a New Zealand author who has written some brilliantly original books for young readers, along with some excellent reads for teenagers and 'tweens.  Northwood is both charming and original, and while the style of writing takes a little getting used to (it is a little like someone telling you a story when they are easily distracted), the story bounces along at a decent speed and keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next. 

It is all too easy for fantasy/adventure books to become walking cliches, but Falkner sidesteps most of them neatly to provide you with a thoroughly enjoyable read.  This was fun to read and I hope there are more from Falkner written in this light and bouncy style (with some hidden depth) that makes it a great read for younger readers wanting to stretch themselves a little, and for teenagers and 'tweens who want to take a break from all the vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural reads that everyone is reading.  This is a real treasure and I hope more people will try this fun and engaging book (and no Brian Falkner did not pay me to say this!).

If you like this book then try:
  • The project by Brian Falkner
  • The real thing by Brian Falkner
  • The Half-men of O by Maurice Gee
  • The mysterious howling by Maryrose Wood
  • The familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
  • The quest begins by Erin Hunter

Reviewed by Brilla

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