Wednesday, 2 March 2016

North of Porter by Kirkland Ciccone

Review by The Mole

Porter's parents decide to move to Castlecrankie because they see an opportunity. He arrives in a car he can't get out of because his parents have removed the door handles to ensure he doesn't escape. Porter's life is not a happy one - but you can guess that. Castlecrankie is a placed troubled by strikes, mysterious deaths and Aliens. But that is why his parents have taken him there; they see an opportunity to make money out of this and Porter will help them - whether he wants to or not.

Porter is a child who doesn't make friends easily and is on medication after his breakdown - a breakdown not helped when he discovered his brother in a suitcase.

With this, Ciccone's third book, the plotting is stronger (not that it was ever weak!), the story more believable and the characters more easily identified with.

I loved the quirkiness of this story - not humorous fantasy, which is a genre I love - but more conspiracy theory put into context. Porter has personal issues. And voices. It took me a little while to understand that the speech that was crossed out in the text is actually the voice inside his head - is it his brother? And Porter is OCD and it manifests itself, in part, by a terror of walking on cracks in the pavement. And Porter makes a friend at his new school - a full-on kleptomaniac who tries to shoplift an ironing board!

Quirkiness and bizarrity in every corner of this book but it's a serious story, told with a little humour, that will have you sitting back and wondering about the ending.

Well done Kirkland - another great story very well told.

Publisher - Strident Publishing
Genre - YA/teen horror, mystery

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