Saturday, August 06, 2005

Fourth World by Kate Thompson

This is book one of The Missing Link Trilogy and I, for one, am eagerly awaiting book two. The beginning of this book was slow, but I kept on reading and I'm glad I did. The main character is 15-year-old Christie, who is angry and resentful of his new stepfather and his older stepbrother, Danny, who is mentally disabled. Christie does care about Danny and has learned some ways of helping him cope with his emotional difficulties, so when a talking starling appears in Danny's room, and Danny says they're leaving to go to his mother's in Scotland, Christie feels compelled to follow him. The journey turns out to be long and difficult. There is an oil shortage and buses have been cancelled, trains are running sporadically and finally car travel is banned completely. Most of the book recounts their journey from Ireland to Scotland and the people they meet, including a homeless girl who joins in with them and a talking dog named Oggie who helps guide them. When they finally arrive at Danny's mother's they find an unbelievable situation involving talking animals and a girl who looks just as strange as Danny but seems to possess super powers. This is science fiction at it's best - Danny's mother has a lab where she performs secret experiments. What has she done to these animals and children? Review by Stacy Church

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