Monday 3 June 2013

Oksa Pollock – The Last Hope by Anne Plichota and Cendrine Wolf

She turned on her bedside lamp and, sitting up in bed, looked around, thoughtfully.  Her desk was littered with the contents of a box that she hadn’t had time to put away: trinkets and toys she no longer used but couldn’t bear to part with.  Her gaze fell on her Poupette doll with red hair, which has been one of her favourites a few years ago.   The happy times of childhood were long gone now; she sighed and shrugged sadly.  Her half-closed eyes lingered on the doll before closing.  She thought back over the most unpleasant events of the day.  The butterflies she’d felt at going back to school.  The anxiety, which still churned her stomach and made her feel sick.  She reopened her eyes and immediately widened them in surprise: the doll’s long hair was standing up on its little plastic head as though magnetized by some mysterious force!  Oksa blinked to convince herself she wasn’t dreaming. Then she leapt out of bed, sending her duvet flying.  With her hand stretched out in front of her, she just had time to see a small fireball fly from her palm, heading straight for the doll’s head.
Published by Pushkin Children’s Books
4th June 2013
512 pages
Oksa Pollock is just a normal thirteen-year old girl, moving with her family from her home in Paris to a new life in London.  But she’s not alone – her best friend Gus has moved with his family too.  The pair are ready to settle into their new lives, with new friends, a new school, and new adventures.
But bizarre things start happening around Oksa, and she can’t shake the strange butterflies in her stomach.  Suddenly, she finds she can produce fire from her hands, move objects with her mind, and even fly.
As Oksa experiments with her wonderful new powers, her family begin to notice – and as the truth emerges, it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems.  For her family aren’t from this world, but from Edefia, having fled their magical, hidden homeland years ago, in fear of all their lives.  And more than that: Oksa is their queen.
Between her loving, powerful grandmother, her wicked new Physics teacher, her mysterious uncles and Gus, her best friend in the world, plus a whole host of fantastical Edefian creatures, Oksa will be thrown into a wilder adventure than she could ever have imagined.
And Oksa knows she must triumph over her enemies.  The whole of Edefia is counting on her.
Reviewed by Georgina Tranter
Oksa Pollock – The Last Hope is the first in a new adventure series of six books by two French authors.  Already a success in Europe, the first book is being launched this summer, with a possible film to follow.  Billed as something that will be enjoyed by fans of Harry Potter and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, I thought I would give it a try.
I have to say, I was instantly drawn into this magical ‘other’ world as Oksa and her family move between the real world, of life in London, to that of their mythical home, Edefia.  It reminded me a little of the writings of Diana Wynne Jones, who I love.  I don’t want to give too much away here for fear of plot-spoiling, but it’s a great read!  It has all the ingredients to make it a successful set of books, (including a creepy teacher called Dr McGraw, who seems to know Oksa’s powers before even she does), and hopefully if the publicity is right, it will do as well as the books it claims to be similar to.  There is already a website set up to encourage readers to become Pollockmaniac’s!  If you have a teenager who is missing the Harry Potter series, I think this could well be a good replacement.

1 comment:

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