Stonechild by Kevin Albin

Thank you to the author, publisher and Rachel’s Random Resources for the digital copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

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.

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.

Rating: 3 out of 5.