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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 my first stories, The Princelings of the East. I'm now writing science fiction for grown-ups as well as completing the Princelings series and writing more stories for the BookElves.
Rebecca M. Douglass
on June 08, 2014 :
The comment in the publisher's summary about "Chandler-esque" is spot on. This book is for older kids, more of a PG-13 sort of thing, though references to sex are pretty oblique and will go over the heads of younger kids. The level of violence is a bit higher than in the first three Princelings books, too. That warning out of the way, this is a very engaging story, told by a rather American Hugo, a.k.a. Mariusz of Hattan (Manhattan, anyone? Just guessing. . . .), who is trying to learn his way around a strange world and make a buck.
The story takes us back ten years in the world of the Princelings, so that the characters from the other books are much younger (a very young Victor is a total charmer), and some we have grown to love don't show up at all (like Fred and George). The story is fast-paced, adventurous, and has just a touch of the supernatural. I wasn't sure at first I liked that (just a taste thing), but Ms. Pett handles it with her usual skill, and there is nothing in the story that isn't necessary.
In a departure from the earlier books, Hugo tells his own story in the the first person, and his hard-boiled attitude lends to the fun. This is definitely not a series that is giving us cookie-cutter books, but each addition has been my new favorite, and this one was no exception.
For any readers old enough to cope with some violence and not to be put off by the implication that Hugo philanders a bit. Tweens up, with, as usual, as much or more appeal to adults as to the children.
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)