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I have been writing since I was about 8 years old. The evidence is a small booklet found in my mother’s box of treasures, written in a very childish hand, entitled The Little Stream. I've been creating articles and event reports for newsletters and magazines ever since, often with a slightly fictional theme, but early attempts at novels failed for want of suitable inspiration: characters and plot were sadly missing! I had a career in business and in environmental research that kept me gainfully employed but chained to a desk for many years. But I kept writing: manuals, reports, science papers, blogs, journals, anything and everything that kept the words flowing. Finally the characters jumped into my head with stories that needed to be told.
I now live in a village in Norfolk with my guinea pigs, the first of whom, Fred, George, Victor and Hugo, provided the inspiration for the stories. Sadly Fred (pictured) followed George and Hugo across the Rainbow Bridge in 2011, but he knew that publication was on its way. And he knew he was a star anyway.
on Feb. 22, 2012 :
This was an entertaining and quick read. The characters were easy to like, and as an animal lover I adored the fact that they were based on Pett's guinea pigs. George and Fred are inquisitive at heart and it's their curious nature that makes them excellent main characters; but Victor, the barkeeper, quickly became my favorite.
It was easy for me to settle into Pett's writing style; it's been a while since I've read anything by Anne McCaffrey or J.R.R. Tolkien, and Pett's writing is a welcomed reminder of how that style of writing can really add to a good plot-line. I have to say that I was impressed with the novel overall. Although it is for older children, it's still written in a way that will appeal to many adults.
The story itself starts off rather quickly, so it's important for readers to pay attention to the details; but the story wasn't so fast paced that I couldn't keep up.
Pett is the author and also illustrates each chapter. Definite bonus points there. The illustrations help to give the book a sort of whimsical feel that adds to the overall fun and adventurous element of the story.
The story wasn't extremely action packed but more of a mystery. Some parts were a little slower than others but in the end everything ties together nicely--including a side plot involving Victor.
By the end, George and Fred are convinced that they will go back to their boring, mundane routine after the adventure that they had at Castle Hattan. I have a feeling that that couldn't be further from the truth.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 02, 2012 :
A fantastic adventure tale with endearing (and extremely clever!) characters. Lovely language choices carry the reader away to the wonderful world Fred and George inhabit. Perfect for guinea pig lovers and able readers 10+ , although very much enjoyed by this 30 something mum!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)