Another bookswap from last year that never got posted because of the blog mangling and then we’ll be all caught up and ready to get going again…
Sometime last Autumn, Beth’s book for me was ‘Raven’s Gate‘ by Anthony Horowitz. Mine for her was supposed to be ‘Gilead’, by Marilynne Robinson but I’ve lent my copy out (what was I thinking?) and so I swapped it for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood instead.
Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz
What Beth said about it: Five ‘gatekeepers’ must unite to face the Old Ones – but first they have to find each other. Really, REALLY creepy (like I can’t believe it’s a kid’s book) but really awesome A+
What I said about it: I remember Beth being blown away by this series when she read it a few years back, so I was looking forward to reading it. But at first, I have to confess to being a bit underwhelmed. The beginning, with two kids breaking into a factory, feels too much like ‘Thieves Like Us’ and I wasn’t immediately inspired by the writing style. But once the hero, Matt, is taken to live with a very unpleasant foster carer, and discovers he has magical powers, the story picks up and then becomes, as Beth says, very, very creepy indeed. There is more than a touch of The Prisoner, about Matt’s situation, and at one point I despaired of him ever escaping, which means the peril feels very real. The book is well paced, the slightly overblown ending is just about credible, and the ending sets up the next one well. I’d definitely read the rest of the series.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
What I said about it: In a post- nuclear Canada, the majority of women are barren. So the wealthy employ the “handmaids” who will bear children on their behalf. Ofred is one such handmaid, experiencing the horror of a form of prostitution against the backdrop of revolution. Stark and disturbing dystopia. A
What Beth said about it: I loved The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve been recommending it to all my friends. I really loved it. This has been my favourite one (except maybe The Colour Purple). It was very compelling and well written. So annoying at the end not to know what happened but there was a good reason for that.
A bit more successful than our fifth swap then and yet again an interesting link. This time protagonists being trapped by an oppressive, evil system.
Now we are back on track, we’re off to read our next choices. Mine for Beth is ‘Pride and Prejudice‘ whilst hers for me is ‘Skullduggery Pleasant‘. This maybe the swap where we fail to find a single link, but perhaps 18th Century ballrooms and dead skeleton detectives have more in common than we think. Back soon to give you our verdict.