Thursday 25 July 2013

Tethers by Jack Croxall

In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings.

The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centred around an otherworldly artefact with the power to change everything …

Karl and Esther have spent almost every day of their thirteen years in the quiet market town of Shraye. Stifled by their rural surroundings and frustrated by their unfulfilled ambitions, they find the allure of the journal’s mysterious pages impossible to ignore. The book seems to be beckoning them away from Shraye, away from their homes and towards the coast where an unsolved disappearance has set in motion a dark chain of events.

The voyage the teenagers soon find themselves undertaking is one of desperate importance and true peril; it will change the way they see the world, and each other, forever

I wasn't so sure when I first started reading this book as I thought the accents in the prologue was strange, but then I was introduced to Karl and Esther and from that moment I was hooked.

Karl and Esther go to Mr Emerson's house to have a snoop around while he is away, only to realise that they are not alone in the house. They quickly make their escape before they are seen and Karl picks up a book hidden beneath the floorboards that he thinks the intruders are looking for. They decide to take it to Mr Caudwells house, a friend of Mr Emerson to tell him that Mr Emerson is in danger. They show him the book to which they discover their names have been quickly scribbled in and the name of a place called Accelesthorpe. This really got my interest- how had their names been put in there and who knew they would find the book?

This notebook is what starts Esther and Karl's dangerous journey. Neither have left the small village of Shraye before and their journey takes them to Nottingham. On the way they discover a curious purple stone. They quickly realise that this stone is important and Karl nearly loses his life when they come across two men trying to take it from them. What is it about the stone that it is wanted so badly?

The story is told in Karl's voice and I thought he was a great character, both he and Esther were extremely courageous 13 year olds and definitely should be commended for their bravery. I think Esther was my favourite character as she was always right in the thick of the action and it makes a change to have such a fearless girl character, rather than a damsel in distress.

I thought Jack set the Victorian scene very well and it was clearly well researched. And I do really like stories set in a certain period as it makes it just that little bit different.

I read this really quickly and it was a great debut novel.  Jack leaves us in suspense with a big cliffhanger at the end!! I am now eagerly awaiting Tethers part two!!!


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