Thursday, August 23, 2007

reading matter 

While also reading Elizabeth McCracken's wonderful The Giant's House and almost all of Tintin, I've just raced through an advance copy of Stephen Davies's The Yellowcake Conspiracy, a tale of high adventure and dodgy dealings in radioactive materials in Niger. It's proper exciting. Stephen seems to have effortlessly slipped up a gear in both sophistication and pace following his brace of Sophie books (as illustrated and front covered by me) for younger readers (Yellowcake is, I think, aimed at what children's publishing calls the Young Adult market, whereas Sophie was for somewhere around the 8 year old mark. Hopefully he'll correct me if I'm wrong).

I enjoyed it so much that I felt compelled to write him more or less a fan email when only three chapters into the story. Almost posted about it then too but held back in case it tailed off (in which case the follow up "actually the ending's a bit rubbish" post would have been somewhat embarrassing for all concerned). Happily, it retains a breathless pace throughout, kept me utterly gripped for the duration and actually made me say "Ooh!" out loud when something unpleasant happening to the hero is described with suitably shocking brevity. Very nicely done.

Anyway, out on September 6th and thoroughly recommended.

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