It’s been a while since I last reviewed a book, and although I usually stick to reviews of craft books I’m breaking with tradition to help promote my brother-in-sin’s* latest offering.
Archie’s Mirror is Geoff Turner’s first foray into writing children’s literature, and it’s really rather good (for non-Brits, this translates as “excellent”).
Of course you may well be reading this and thinking “Well of course she’s giving it a good review, it was written by someone in her family.”
That’s not the case at all. Although I tweeted briefly about it the day the book was published on Amazon, I refused to blog about it until I’d actually read it – and I certainly wouldn’t recommend something unless I truly liked it! Family and friends of the author were promoting Archie’s Mirror all over Twitter and Facebook immediately after it was published, but I preferred to wait and see what it was like because I think I owe it to my blog followers to give an informed opinion. So here it is, the review I submitted to Amazon.co.uk:
As an adult who still loves children’s literature this book was a joy to read. Imaginative and engaging, it ticks all the right boxes to capture the imagination of both children and adults alike. Children will enjoy the story for its own sake, and adults will too – with the added bonus of things like the beatnik wolves, a nice nod to more mature popular culture which might pass over the heads of younger children. The basic concept of the book bears a strong parallel to the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, but with a slightly darker feel (and without being weighed down by religious metaphors!) – if I had to describe this book in one sentence I’d say it was Narnia for the modern generation. Given how much I’ve always adored the work of C.S. Lewis this is high praise indeed.
The story develops well and at a good pace, so it’s easy to get engrossed. I’m looking forward to the second book already!
I genuinely enjoyed Archie’s Mirror, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who has children, or who likes a bit of children’s fiction themselves. The book costs 97p on amazon.co.uk ($1.57 from amazon.com) and at that price it’s an absolute steal – so please do buy it, and having bought it please read it, and then review it yourself (it’s no good selling lots of copies if there are no reviews to encourage future customers!). Unfortunately the book isn’t currently available in other e-reader formats, but if you keep an eye on the Facebook page you’ll get a heads up as soon as it is.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this review, and that I’ve tempted you sufficiently to go and buy a copy of the book yourself. Geoff has been kind enough to write a little blog piece about Archie’s Mirror, and how he came to write it, which will be published on this blog next Saturday – so please pop back to read it!
*Geoff would be my brother-in-law if it weren’t for the fact that I refuse to marry his brother – why bother after over a decade?