Friday, 16 October 2015

The Boy Who Drew The Future by Rhian Ivory

The barber doesn't try to engage me in awkward conversation as he cuts off my hair. I'm relieved he's a whistler not a talker as I try to make a different face look back at me in the mirror. 

Pages 320
Published by Firefly Press

Summary
Noah and Blaze live in the same village over 100 years apart. But the two teenage boys are linked by a river and a strange gift: they both compulsively draw images they don’t understand, that later come true. They can draw the future.
1860s – Blaze is alone after his mother’s death, dependent on the kindness of the villagers, who all distrust his gift as witchcraft but still want him to predict the future for them. When they don’t like what he draws, life gets very dangerous for him.
Now – Noah comes to the village for a new start. His parents are desperate for him to be ‘normal’ after all the trouble they've had in the past. He makes a friend, Beth, but as with Blaze the strangeness of his drawings start to turn people against him and things get very threatening. Will he be driven away from this new home – and from Beth?
Will both boys be destroyed by their strange gift, or can a new future be drawn?
******
Reviewed by Vivienne Dacosta

I hadn't expected to read The Boy Who Drew The Future as quickly as I did. My TBR pile was practically toppling over,  but I couldn't resist a sneak peak at the first chapter, when I received it. That was it. I was completely drawn into the story and couldn't put it down. 

The author has a exquisite descriptive voice, that allows you to immerse yourself straight into the story. The book is told from two view points. Firstly we have the present day, where we meet Noah. You realise from the first chapter that Noah is carrying a lot of guilt, but you can't quite put your finger on what that guilt might be. All you know is that he feels his unusual talent is the root of this guilt. As the story unfolds you realise he blames himself for something which he couldn't possibly have controlled. He seems hell bent on making sure the situation doesn't happen again. His journey through the story is about learning to overcome his unnecessary guilt.

Noah's parents don't understand how special he is. Their reaction to his talent really surprised me, but I suppose no one wants their child to be singled out for being different and Noah's talent does attract a lot of negative attention when it becomes apparent.  Personally, I think it would be awesome to be able to draw the future.

The second point of view in the book is Blaze's, an orphan from the 1800's with only his beloved dog as his companion.  Blaze has the same talent as Noah, but during the 1800's, his ability was considered to be witchcraft. Blaze suffers for his talent. I adored Blaze, I really felt he had a beautiful soul. 

There is another character who really touched my heart. Dog. Blaze's faithful companion. The author's descriptions of him, were so lifelike, I felt as much love for him as I did for Manchee in The Knife of Never Letting Go. 

The river features heavily in the book and is a forceful link between both characters, connecting them over the time divide. The descriptions of the river, really bring it to life, making it feel like a character in its own right, creating a menacing and threatening presence at times.

I really enjoyed this beautifully haunting and unusual tale and look forward to even more from Rhian Ivory in the future. 



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