Thursday, August 27, 2009

Review - Pillage

Pillage is one of those fun adventure fantasy books that young boys should enjoy. In a time when Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and others are stealing the show, it's fun to find a fantasy book of similar vein that is still very fresh and fun to read.

Pillage follows a young boy named Beck through his very troubled life. The initial chapter gives us insight into his devious streak as he carries out a plot that would result in having school closed for a few days. The plan falls apart and Beck quickly finds himself in more trouble than he was prepared for...something which will become a theme throughout the book.

The writing and pacing of the plot is quick. Within moments of the failed prank, we find that Beck's mom has died, the funeral takes place, and a lawyer informs Beck that, not only does he have family but he has a very rich uncle. With that, Beck is immediately shuttled onto a train en route to Kingsplot. Once there, he's quickly disillusioned as to his uncle's wealth and sanity as well as any hope of normalcy or happiness going forward.

The book progresses elegantly and quickly through many strange events that Beck and his friends work through and finally climaxes with the discovery of the dragons promised on the back of the book.

I really enjoyed the writing. The characters felt real and I grew attached to them. The plot was well crafted and moved along quickly enough for young readers to keep engaged while still maintaining enough depth to keep it interesting.

I've told both of my boys that they MUST read this book. I hope they do. I'm sure they'll enjoy it. The book didn't set itself up for a sequel and the author is doing well enough with his other series that he probably doesn't want to spread himself too thin, but I still think it would be interesting to learn more about the family of Pillage...perhaps a prequel to the current adventure?

4.5 stars out of 5

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