Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick: Review

Today, I welcome my first guest reviewer to The Faded Bookmark.

Tamsin Jupp is mother to three young girls, nicknamed The Three Graces and she has been a prolific reader and writer since she was small.  This is the year that Tamsin is going to make her writing more of a priority, whether it be to finish the children's book she has been mulling over for a year or to actually take a chance with a picture book she wrote for her middle child.  So you'll find her either nose in a book, scribbling notes, or out in the woods stomping in the mud letting her imagination run riot.

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick
The first chapter introduces us to Sig, a fifteen year old boy who is sitting in an isolated cabin, somewhere in the frozen Arctic Circle, with a corpse on the table.  It's his father, who had fallen through the ice that morning on his way home.  He'd been crossing a melting lake, at a point he had told his son never to cross at.  As Sig struggles to come to terms with this and puzzle his fathers rash actions, it looks like he has been abandoned by his step-mother and sister.  When you think things can't get worse, a psychotic, gun-toting man turns up demanding the gold owed to him by his dead father.

The story revolves around Sig, a boy who has felt a misfit most of his life, who has been treading water, waiting for something he just can't put his finger on.  Now he is stuck alone with an adult who has no moral compass and has spent the last ten years with the sole purpose of tracking down the family, getting his share of gold and making someone pay.  Sig, has no idea where the gold is, so faces certain death, unless he can get to the store cupboard where his father's ancient revolver is hidden, to even the odds.  Can he remember the lessons his father taught him about the gun?  If he does manage to arm himself, will he be true to his mother and choose the bible's peaceful path (she herself was raped and murdered in another part of this lawless, frozen land), or to his father and his scientific, logical mind?  Kill or be killed?  Or is there a third option?

Yet this is not a bleak book, there is always a sense of hope, the hint of possibility just round the corner.  The reader is swept along, carried by Sedgwick's beautiful use of imagery and language.  He builds on the suspense and fear, fuelling your desire to get to the conclusion.   "The words hung in the air, drifted around the room.  They seemed to paint themselves on the walls in letters two feet high.  They seemed to be painted in blood."

I loved this book and can't wait to read more by this author!

To read more from Tamsin please visit her blog My Dandelion Girl.

If you would like to be a guest reviewer (of YA fiction) on The Faded Bookmark then please email me at:

siobhancurham [AT]yahoo[DOT]co[DOT]uk

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