Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Secrets of Ordinary Farm by Tad Williams and Deborah Beale (Children's, 9 years +)

March 2012, Quercus
456 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Summary from Quercus

Tyler and Lucinda have returned to a far-from-ordinary place for the summer. Instead of pigs and sheep, this farm is home to dragons, unicorns, flying monkeys...

This summer, everything has changed - security fences are everywhere and Ordinary Farm is in no small danger. Shortly after Uncle Gideon declares he wants to leave the farm to Tyler and Lucinda, he goes missing, and the children suspect the evil hand of the witch-housekeeper, Mrs. Needle. But then Gideon just as mysteriously returns, weak and unwell. Mrs. Needle persuades him that the children are conspiring against him and, suddenly, horribly, the tables are turned...

So begins an adventure to save the farm, involving a magnificent dragon, magic mirrors and a haunted mine.
Nayuleska's thoughts 
This has been a book full of ups and downs for me. I havn't read the first book in the series, but the backstory was revealed in a timely fashion. I loved Lucinda and the relationship she has with her brother, they made me laugh and cry. It took 200 pages before I was totally hooked, until then it was an ok book, but it didn't have zing. Past page 200 I felt like my eyes were shining with the nefarious goings on. Lucinda gets the best bad events, and the best ending of all the characters in the book. 
I fell out of love with the books when sn*kes appeared - I was too scared of finding details about them so had to skip ahead more than a few pages. Once I got past them, I had to skip to the end as it was a bit too dark for me to deal with at the moment. It is well written, and rather funny in places so gets 8/10 from me.

Suggested read
If you'd like an adventure about a girl and some dragons, check out the brilliant Dragonskin Slippers by Jessica Day George.

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