The International Writers Magazine: Young Fiction Review
Ghost Hunter by Michelle Paver
Review by Robert Sills
The final book of Paver’s critically acclaimed ‘Chronicles of Ancient Darkness’ sees spirit walker Torak struggle as he leaves his allies behind to face the terror of Eostra the Eagle Owl Mage alone.
Set over six thousand years ago, Paver’s talent shows in the creation of this post-Ice Age world of strong warriors, animal brethren and great evils that separate it from the usual children’s books. The level of description that goes into creating a scene is almost brought up to an art form and the detail that goes into making you believe that this is an ancient era is both bold and subtle, from the way characters speak to the way that the actual book is written. It is all too easy because of this to get sucked into this world.
Torak, our hero for the six part series, is especially believable as a character, even in this setting. With most children’s books being written at the moment having a teenage protagonist who is a whirlwind of heroics and witty dialogue, it’s refreshing to see a hero who acts like someone who has been raised in the harsh environment around him as well as the constant threats that inhabit them. He gets scared, he thinks rationally, and while he is willing to risk is own life, he still has moments where he wants to turn back to take easier path.
This is the sixth and final book of the series so new readers who are looking to pick up this frankly eye-catching cover may want to start at the beginning with ‘Wolf Brother’, as with any finale, previous events come into meaning, lingering plot threads are tied up and quite a cast of main and secondary characters has been assembled so new readers might get lost with who characters are or indeed what species they are.
‘Ghost Hunter’ is a literary treat for any young reader looking for something slightly different from mass of children’s releases, and those who have remained loyal to the series for five years are more than likely to be satisfied with this grand end.
© Robert Sills April 2010
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