Thursday, 21 January 2016

Abi Elphinstone - The Shadow Keeper - (Dreamsnatcher) Book Review

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (February 25, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1471122700
  • Age: 9+

Moll Pecksniff and her friends are living as outlaws in a secret cave by the sea, desperate to stay hidden from the Shadowmasks. But further along the coast lies the Amulet of Truth, the only thing powerful enough to force the Shadowmasks back and contain their dark magic. So, together with Gryff, the wildcat that's always by her side, and her best friends Alfie and Sid, Moll must sneak past smugglers, outwit mer creatures and crack secret codes to save the Old Magic. With more at stake than ever before and the dark magic rising fast, can Moll and her friends stop the Shadowmasks before it's too late? 

Abi Elphinstone  is back with the eagerly anticipated sequel to The Dreamsnatcher, which is sporting another cracking book cover illustrated by the talented Thomas Flintham.
After Abi's Norwegian travels she has distilled some of her previous adventurous experiences such as kayaking through the fjords, jumping off cliffs and taming a wild spirit or two. All of these Nordic foraging ingredients shape this story into a fantastic middle grade adventure that I have come to know and love.

We are back once again with Moll and her courageous friends at the Crooked Cave. Armed with a breathtaking story about the sea, it leaves me conjuring up many magical possibilities: spooky shipwrecks, smugglers caves and some nasty pirates, perhaps. This book has all of it covered in a five star reading experience. It has so much more to offer the reader, regardless of age or gender - it's a book that will suit everyone.

As you firmly place your land legs on the first page, the sea breathes quietly and the sprawled landscape is inspiring. It lulls you into a false sense of security.  However, this does not last as the darkness begins to brew within a cauldron of old dark magic, and even darker spirits. Each are lurking with mischievous intent which leads to explosive action and an adventure ready to boil over the reader. It leads you down a thrilling fantasy path of danger and suspense that will leave you gripped to the sandy core.

Moll and her tribe of outlaws have a mystery to crack and secrets to uncover once again. They need to find the Amulet of truth before the evil Shadowmasks find it first. It is a race for time with some new lovable and not so lovable characters which are thrown into the mix. This leads to a heartwarming tale about friendship of standing by and believing what's right and wrong. It is a great story that will leave you feeling good; a plot brimming full of heart, sole and much intrigue.

Every page is like snatching a dream it's so surreal. You'll need to get your catapult ready to fight giant eels and wrestle with marsh spirits. You will also need to ride a Kelpie and riddle with the best Mer ghosts. Take a deep breath as you encounter much more in this epic  adventure including the Bone Murmur's prophecy - will it lead to a fate worse than death?

I loved every minute of this book. It's full of dark magic spells both old and true with a battle of fantasy goodness all played out in the rugged backdrop of the outdoor coast. Full of immersive action and great characters, this book will have you engrossed until the very last page. When you have finished reading it, it will leave you with a tinge of sadness and a yearning for the next book. This is the best sequel I've read for some time, which is not an easy task, so well done Abi. I'll have more of the same please. 

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