Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison

Published by Simon @Schuster in 2009
Pages - 326

Opening sentences.
She was aware of their presence in the room before she even awoke.
An ominous twitching had begun in Tanya's eyelids, a sure sign that trouble was on its way. It was the incessant twitching which woke her. Her eyes opened groggily. As usual, she had reverted to her childhood habit of sleeping with her head under the covers. She was uncomfortable, yet reluctant to shift position. If she did, it would alert them to the fact that she was awake.

I am disappointed in each and everyone of you who has read this book and didn't alert me to how good it was!  OH MY GOD! This book is awesome and even better than that, there are two more to follow. ( Having just finished the second one, I can honestly say, that this series manages to improve on perfection.)

Tanya has been sent to stay with her grandmother at Elvesdon Manor, after her mother had reached a point where she could no longer cope with the unexplained nightly disturbances.  Tanya is distraught at the thought of going to stay with her cold hearted grandmother in a decrepit ancient manor, where she knows the fairies will still taunt her.  However when she discovers the unsolved mystery of a young girl who disappeared in the woods by the house and how the disappearance affected the residents of Elvesdon manor, she is desperate to find out what really happened. With the help of Fabian, the caretaker's son, she sets out to find out the truth about the girl's disappearance, only to find herself caught up in the mystery and in danger of becoming a central part of it.

This is a rather dark tale of mystery and suspense that has you gripped from page one.  I did find a few comical aspects within the pages, which really appealed to my sniggering inner child (Fairy splattered on windscreen like a fly!).  The fairies in this book are not sweet and loving like dear old Tinkerbell, they have  a sinister side to their nature, be prepared to be scared by their antics.  The story flows beautifully reaching high and low points in tension like a winding river.

The characters are extremely well written and believable. I fell in love with Red on her first appearance in the book. I adored her courageous and spunky attitude and I knew straightaway that she and I would be great friends. She doesn't let anyone stand in her way. Tanya makes a wonderful lead character. She is honest and respectable and takes on any challenge to solve the mystery. Elvesdon Manor is one of the biggest characters in the book and one where I could happily live amongst the secret fairy residents.

It is not often that I buy the rest of a series, after reading just half a book, but I knew I was onto a winner with this one. I could imagine this book being picked up by Disney and made into a film. It is just so good.

I can't leave a review of this book, without mentioning the cover. It is awesome, isn't it? The Thirteen Treasures are created so beautifully on the front cover, I wanted to reach in and pull the bracelet out to wear.

Michelle Harrison won the Waterstones Children's Book Award in 2009 with this, her debut novel and I can see why it won.  It contains everything a good children's book should have and will be loved by young and old.  Michelle Harrison's book had me reminiscing the delightful adventures of the Famous Five and Secret Seven in the Enid Blyton books that brightened my childhood. I felt that the author had recaptured Enid Blyton's long lost writing style and giving it a thorough makeover, suitable for the modern children of the 21st Century.

Don't take my word for it. Go and read it for yourself!

23 comments:

  1. Ooooh! I will, I will! Sounds fab, why haven't I heard of it before. I prefer un-disneylike fairies! Way more fun!

    Just had The Book Of Tomorrow arrive from Read it Swap it, been keeping my eye out for that one after your review so that'll be my next read after Dreafully Ever After (more zombies *g*)

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  2. You may have mentioned your love of this book once or twice recently .. :) And I promise, I will definitely pick it up soon, it sounds wonderful :)

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  3. I can't begin to tell you how I DONT need yet another book on my wish list or in my tbr pile! ..but on my wish list it went...what at the titles of the other books to the series?? your review sounds like this would be book one?

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  4. Well I am glad that you are spreading the word about this one. I have never heard of it before or the series. I guess I have to embrace the fact that I seem to be turning into a series person.

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  5. Sounds like one I'd enjoy, thanks for spreading the word.

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  6. I agree, fab cover! and I ditto DesLily :-)

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  7. This sounds wonderful. Adding it to my list. Thanks, Viv!

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  8. What a wonderfully enthusiastic review of this book! I will definitely keep an eye out for this book and series.

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  9. I've been curious about this one since the award, actually! I'm glad to hear it has the Vivienne stamp of approval :P

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  10. Carmen - You must! Hope you like The Book of Tommorrow!

    Clover - I don't know what you mean. I know I can't stop yapping about this book.

    Des Lily - the other two titles are The Thirteen Curses and The Thirteen Secrets. Yes this review is of the first book. Sorry to add to your pile!

    Nicole - it is a gorgeous series! I just tweeted about you to an author!

    Petty Witter - it is fab!

    Mary - sorry!

    Beth - it is fantastic. Hope you enjoy.

    Suko - you know I get very enthusiastic when I find a book I love!

    Nymeth - Yay! I hope you love it.

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  11. Your passion for this book has me excited!

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  12. Lol, *raises hand* I am blameless ;) Cos I have not read these but wow, now I really want to

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  13. I've never heard of this one but it sure sounds good and yes, that cover is awesome!

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  14. I haven't heard about this one before, but I'll add it to my list. Great review!

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  15. I LOVED this book too! I have the 3rd sitting here but not the 2nd. Sounds like I need to put that right very soon.

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  16. Sorry, that last comment was me...signed in on the wrong google account :)

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  17. I have this on my huge pile of things to read this year. I feel I am missing out. Sounds like it rocked your world.

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  18. Your enthusiasm for this is infectious. :D

    Will definitely have to add this to my TBR. :D

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  19. Wanna read! Wanna read! Wanna read! This has been on my list for awhile. Sweet? Lol, did you ever see Peter Pan? Tink isn't sweet.

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  20. It sounds great, thanks for the recommendation. I'll add it to my wish list.

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  21. Well I think I will take your word on this one and go pick this one up or at least add it to my TBR list. This definitely sounds like a book that needs to be read.

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  22. Oh yes, I will read it if I see it in the bookstores near me. Thanks for the review and recommendation!

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  23. Fab review Viv, I loved this one too :o) I must go out & buy the second book! I've added your link to my review

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Hiya, thanks for stopping by, it is always nice to hear what you have to say, so do leave a comment if you have time.