Sunday, 9 May 2010

Triskellion 2: The Burning by Will Peterson - Five *

When I first saw online adverts for the latest Triskellion I was fascinated. It sounded good - in fact it sounded brilliant - but I had never heard anything of it and this was book 2. I could not see how, if it was that good, it had got by me. By careful wrangling I managed to get my hands on a copy of book 2 and added it to my reading pile. It nearly took over the reading pile as I made the mistake of reading the first chapter at elevenses on the day it arrived! However I dutifully finished the excellent read I had in progress while reading the odd chapter of 'The Burning' when it was the first book to hand.

We follow on from book 1 (obviously) with Rachel and Adam, along with their mother, Kate, flying from Triskellion in a helicopter believing they are being taken home. To their horror they are taken to the HOPE projects buildings for 'protection' where they are drugged and investigated like lab mice to find out what is special about them.

They escape from the project with the help of Gabriel and set about their fast moving and action packed adventures. Pursued by the project they travel from country to country finding they are not always welcome and not pursued only by the HOPE project. As they flee Gabriel shows new and ruthless facets to his powers and abilities and encourages them to explore their own abilities and develop their powers. During their adventures they meet new friends who have special powers as well and a trail of death and destruction follows them from country to country - but mostly not of their making.

The book deals with death, not only of the baddies but also friends and loved ones, but on occasion that death is truly horrific and is captured excellently and horrifically. Maybe the horror wouldn't affect kids as much, but then I hate bees. Oh yes there are bees in the story too.

This book is truly excellent and I am baffled that it is a book aimed at children. Am I one big kid? Maybe I am and I have read a lot of children's/young adults books lately. Some of those books feel like children's books, some feel like young adults and some, like The Burning, feel like they would be enjoyed by adults just as much. I have to say Triskellion has all the makings of a film or films and that would be sad. Why? Because the book reads like TV episodes and I could imagine sitting down to watch episodes of Triskellion, with my daughter, at a Saturday tea time. However TV is the poor brother of Film so I imagine it will become a film first. Ne'er mind.

If you like adventure, then read this book. It isn't about fantasy, but it is a form of fantasy. If you liked 'The Champions', 'Knight Rider', 'Billion Dollar Man' or even 'Harry Potter' then read this. I suppose my next job is to try to wrangle the next book, for which there is a prologue taster in the back!

At nearly 500 pages it's not a train journey read, but by it for the train and you can finish it later in that meeting you were going to.

A similar read would be Mortlock by Jon Mayhew.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful review.
    Yes, as you point out, the tone of the book is quite adult, the protagonists, children. We aim to write young adult books that are unpatronising and uncompromising in language and ideas, readable by children and adults alike. We have a generation of sophisticated kids who are used to grasping complex ideas, snappy dialogue and adult themes in the TV and films they watch; they do not need to be 'spoken down' to in what they read.
    You appear to think that we have hit that mark. Thank you!
    Book 3, The Gathering is out now. Hopefully you won't have to wrangle too hard...Waterstone's and WHSmith stock it along with independent bookshops everywhere.
    Films...well, we live in hope!

    Thanks for spreading the word...

    Peter Cocks (writing with MArk Billingham as Will Peterson)