A Disturbing War-time Tale
review by Maryom
In a war torn land, Mal and Joey head towards a city under siege, ready to fall at any time. Mal isn't sure why they must go there but Joey says they must, and she follows him. There's war inside the city as well, between rival gangs, each of which feel Joey- the Crowboy - and his strange powers can help them beat their opponent. But what is Joey's real purpose?
I've accidentally read David Calcutt's books in the opposite order to the one they were written in - so now I've reached his first book - Crowboy. It's a darker, grimmer, more disturbing book than the others, but just as gripping.
The war ravaged countryside and bombed out city are brought to life through a series of first person narratives - from Mal's point of view, that of various gang members and an old man living and scavenging among the debris of the city - and the reader is taken inside these characters' minds, shares their thoughts and feels their fears.
It's maybe aimed at slightly older readers than the later books as there's more violence and younger ones may find the change of narrator difficult to keep pace with.
Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Oxford University Press
Genre - children's 12+, fantasy
Buy Crowboy from Amazon