Oh, hello bookworm, I didn’t hear you come in! I was just having a quiet moment with my cats and a steaming hot cup of coffee. Do hear that? No sound other than the occasional rustle of pages from the bookshelves. All is blissfully calm here, for a change so I’m making the most of it. I suspect it may be because it’s almost time for my annual sort out and the books are getting nervous in case I decide to rehome any of them. They have nothing to worry about really, as I tend to gift books to fellow booklovers who will love them as equally as I do however I’m not sure they would get away with as much mischief elsewhere…
Now that you’re comfortable and settled with a brew, let me tell you about a book I read recently called Stonechild by Kevin Albin.
Here’s the blurb:
Where do we go to when we die? Imagine human consciousness embedded in the molecules of a statue. So, when the statues of London come to life, it is a spectacle like non other, and they come with a specific message, and an offer we cannot refuse.
As the world reels in this wonder of science and religion, Molly Hargreaves has other plans and she sets out to prove that things are not as they seem.
Chased, captured and confined, Molly confronts the statues and her own fears. But who can she convince? The people are welcoming, the Government has succumbed, and the police try to act, but how do you shoot stone and metal? Be prepared to be run ragged around London on a mystery worthy of the great Sherlock Holmes.
Here’s a little about the author, in his own words:
I served 25 years with the police in the UK, eight years of which were with a tactical firearms team. In 2002, I took a career change, and retrained as an International Mountain Leader working across the globe guiding on mountaineering trips and expeditions.
I have led many trips to the jungles of Borneo, my favourite destination, an enchanting place that has sadly seen much deforestation. My trips were based on education and conservation.
In 2011, I won the Bronze in the Wanderlust Magazine World Guide Awards for my work..
It was whilst working on a corporate training day in London, when I pictured a statue coming to life to give my clients the answer to the clue they were working on. The rest grew from there.
My hope is that my writing will continue to spread the word on conservation and protection of all species.
I live in France.
And here’s my review: Have you ever looked up at a tall statue outdoors and felt as thought it was moving as the clouds drift by above? Have you ever experienced the shock of a street performer, dressed and made up from head to toe in bronze, bringing what you thought was a statue to life? These illusions drew me into the story as it’s the kind of thing I imagined happening as a child. When statues of respected historical figures step down from their plinths with a stark conservational message for mankind, the people of London are entranced.
Whilst the adults are fascinated by these great pioneers, young Molly is utterly distrustful. Living with her slightly older brother whilst their parents are travelling for work, she’s trying to figure out why the statues are really coming alive. With the help of an eccentric old acquaintance of her parents and a statue of a fictional hero, Molly is in a race against time to prove the statues are not to be trusted. Her adventures take her across London to various landmarks and brushes with historical figures as her fear turns to courage and determination.
Although the reader learns that the precocious Molly is home schooled, fiercely intelligent and doesn’t like statues as a rule (even before they come to life!), I would have liked more detail about her. I didn’t much like her older brother Charlie, who seems to make some foolish choices which leave his younger sibling at risk.
The concept was a thrilling one and I felt the writing of the crowd scenes brought out the fear and mob mentality well. I can’t share my thoughts on the resolution of the story without spoiling it for others… but I thought the epilogue was a clever way to end the book!
I’d recommend this for young teens who will the Doctor Who feeling of statues coming to life, mixed with a bit of history and culture.
If you like the sound of this, bookworm, you can click the book image to go to the relevant page on Amazon if you wish to purchase a copy (I don’t get anything for sharing the link, I’m just being a helpful bookworm). I was lucky enough to receive a copy from the author and Rachel’s Random Resources in return for my honest opinion.
Puzzle and giveaway: If you click the button below, you will be taken to a word puzzle for the readers of Stonechild. There’s also a prize to be drawn on the 10th December, which is Human Rights Day.
Well, bookworm, there’s no rest for the wicked (or the perpetually confused), so I’m going to dust the books and their shelves. I can only do it on days when they’re completely calm or all the tickling from the feather duster ends in chaos… Farewell, bookworm!