Wednesday, 16 February 2011
The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison
Pages - 326
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!