What I’ve been reviewin’ – Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones

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Witch Week (Chrestomanci, #3)Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good fun, but it’s like observing the characters through glass – there’s less emotional attachment than in the other Chrestomanci books, for me.

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image – bird flew https://www.flickr.com/photos/birdflew/ on Flickr, licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

What I’ve been reviewin’ – Refuge (Minder’s War #1) by Gerhard Gehrke

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Refuge (Minder's War #1)Refuge by Gerhard Gehrke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The alien hive mind is a trope I’ve always been fond of, but I’m getting a little jaded with it. The drifts of alien spores travelling through space and time reminded me of the classic ‘The Possessors’ by John Christopher, a beautifully chilly and ominous tale.

Heroine Deanne I found a little unsympathetic and detached, and was initially puzzled by the apparently extensive technical and scientific comprehension of a juvie hall kid, although this is briefly addressed at a later point in the book. The monsters were grossly unpleasant, which I guess counts as a win in a tale of this type, and overall the story was readable, plausible and internally coherent, and the detail convincing.

There were occasional tense and grammar issues at some points of the book, and on one page – I think 86% of the way through – a paragraph is half-deleted. Easily enough done during formatting. The main annoying thing was the constant rendition of the word ‘shone’ as ‘shined’ – extra noticeable as it is used about two thousand times in the book. I’m willing to accept that it’s correct American usage, but to British sensibilities it really grates quite a lot.

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image – Lucas https://www.flickr.com/photos/myvector/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

What I’ve been reviewin’ lately – Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones

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DogsbodyDogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not just an all-time classic kids’ book. It’s an all-time classic, a book worth deifying, a touchstone of our culture, full stop.

The poignancy and truth in how DWJ expresses love and letting go – well. She is a nonpareil.

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image – Victor Sounds on Flickr, licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

What I’ve been reviewin’ lately – A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones

 

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A Tale of Time CityA Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As Diana Wynne Jones books go, this is one. That’s a recommendation of sorts, but there are much better places to start with her work.

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image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dgoomany/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

What I’ve been reviewin’ – Archer’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones

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Archer's GoonArcher’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful, and nutty, and perhaps the most full-on bonkers kids’ book I have ever read. Any adult should be proud to stand it on their bookshelves.

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image – Rachel Andrew on Flickr licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/