Friday, 17 December 2010
Will Cleveland - The Baboons Of Dawn - Book Review
Three curious youngsters, an unsolved disappearance dating back to 1976, and a strange stone monkey engraved with Egyptian hieroglyphs—the ingredients for a bizarre and scary journey through history on a quest to get back to the present. Twelve baboon statues are scattered through the ages, and Maggie, Ben and Zoltan have to find them all. In the process of doing so, they witness some of the most catastrophic events in history, from the Great Fire of London to the destruction of Atlantis, and encounter everyone from Marie Antoinette at the height of the French Revolution to Montezuma at the moment of the bloody Spanish conquest of the Aztecs. In the course of their civilization-hopping adventures, they find their own lives in mortal danger. Will they escape from the Well of Death and make it back to their own time? Will they solve the mystery of the missing Colonel Moon? And will Mum and Dad—who think the youngsters have only popped out to play—ever get a whiff of the amazing journey through time that they embarked on that eventful evening when they decided to dig up the Colonel’s overgrown garden in an effort to find his body.
The first thing that I need to mention about this book is its cover - it's very different. In fact it leaps off the cover in an amazingly striking way. I love the use of colour against the image in order to get a sense of the story behind the cover. A really good job has been made of this.
The story has a great start, with the intriguing mystery of a missing person. . . . Three children find themselves on an amazing journey of discovery, which sends them off to the far reaching corners of the world (mostly historical places), through varied time travelling action. Unfortunately, in my opinion, a down side to this idea was that some of the places that they visited needed to be a little longer in content. I really wanted to know more about the people and the places that they visited. Instead it felt like a sprint to the end.
Anyway, the children find themselves on a quest to seek out twelve stone monkeys in order to eventually get them back home. However, each one that they find leads them into more and more danger. This idea felt both original and fresh, through the interesting historical and mythological element, in which it was contained.
The book was very enjoyable to read - towards the end it became quite surreal and was not at all what I expected. It was perhaps not quite in keeping with the story, but I felt the ending finished well; making it open for more possible adventures.
All in all this is another great book to have been published by the versatile publishing company, Book Guild.