Monday, July 09, 2012

Fright Forest: Elf Girl and Raven Boy by Marcus Sedgwick


Synopsis

From the creators of the Blue Peter award-winning Funniest Book with Pictures "Raven Mysteries" team, this is the first in a humorous and magical adventure series, "Raven Boy And Elf Girl", perfect for readers of 8+ about Raven Boy and Elf Girl's magical, humorous and creepy adventures as they battle to save the world. Eep...the adventure begins! Raven Boy has short black spiky hair, amazing night vision and can talk to animals. Elf Girl is light of foot, sharp of mind and...elfish all over. She hadn't expected to meet Raven Boy; it's not that often someone falls out of the trees and squashes your home flat like Raven Boy did. Before they know it they are plunged into some very strange, creepy, altogether spooky and hilarious adventures as they save their world from trolls, ogres, witches and things that slither and slide in the fiendish forest.

Not having read a book for younger readers in a while this title caught my eye. It sounded quirky, fun and potentially full of humour so I was looking forward to getting started. Raven Boy was quite happily sleeping in a tree (his favourite place to be) when he's rudely thrown out and lands on Elf Girl's hut, squashing it flat. Elf Girl is understandably upset with him but they have barely enough time to argue when another tree is mysteriously toppled towards them. Something definitely strange, dangerous and awful is happening in the forest - Elf Girl's family have disappeared, trees are being uprooted everywhere and they're both hungry and alone. Through necessity at first they team up, despite the fact that they spend more time bickering than anything else!

However, as the story progresses they find out more about each other. Each scrape and near-disaster brings out their individual strengths and they start to work together as a team. However, they still bicker - mostly about what Raven Boy's real name is and whether Elf Girl actually knows how to use her family's magic bow or not. It becomes clear that there's no one else prepared to get to the bottom of the whole disappearing forest problem. Together they overcome awful foe; trolls, witches, monsters and more. Both of them have special talents including Raven Boy's ability to speak to animals which leads to the inclusion of wonderful Rat into their team.

Fright Forest is full of magic but also lots of unanswered questions. Where is Raven Boy's family? Why has he never celebrated his birthday? I loved this book. I adored Rat, the camaraderie between the two main characters, the monster at the witches house and the trolls. I can't wait to read the next in the series so I can find out more about them all. Also, a word about the brilliant illustrations by Pete Williamson (who also did the illustrations for the Raven Mysteries) - they're absolutely perfect for the quirky nature of this book. I think the drawing of the landlady is my absolute favourite with her mad hair and pipe. The humour is perfect too - I loved the moment when Elf Girl accidentally kicks Raven Boy's ice-encased body down a hill. A brilliant start to a new series and I'm looking forward to Monster Mountains.

1 comment:

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf said...

I love Marcus Sedgwick's writing, but I've only ever read his standalones, not the Raven books, I really must correct that at some point.