Tag Archives: Will Gatti

Call Down Thunder

It’s good. In fact, I’m beginning to suspect that Call Down Thunder is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Written by Daniel Finn, who is really Will Gatti, and whose books I had quietly ignored after we met four years ago at the Bolton award. Not that I didn’t trust him to be good, but you know how it is. Very grateful that Will/Daniel suggested I might like this book.

Daniel Finn, Call Down Thunder

Call Down Thunder is not like other books, but a little Mal Peet-y if I have to describe it. Set in some Latin American country – I think – real, or made up, doesn’t matter. It’s got the right feel.

Young fisherman Reve and his sister Mi have been living with Tomas in the small fishing village Rinconda since their father was murdered and their mother disappeared. Mi suffers from weird fits, and has taken to living in a wrecked car on the beach, while Reve tries to be a good boy and friend and brother.

After a couple of bad things happen in Rinconda, Reve and Mi go to the big city to find their mother. More bad things happen to the two country teenagers who have never been out of their village before. It’s a tough and violent life, and a poor one, but with Mi’s second sight, and Reve’s hard work and courage, they eventually ‘arrive somewhere’ and can go on with living.

Daniel/Will has packed a lot into 300 pages. There is absolutely no waffle, and the dialogue is in some sort of dialect, which curiously enough doesn’t grate on the reader’s eyes. It’s just perfect. There’s a whole cast of fascinating characters, and so very believable.

You must read this. It’s yet more proof that the best books aren’t necessarily written by the best known writers.

And the winner is

Derek Landy.

I love Derek and I love Skulduggery, so the win was no surprise. But it would have been nice if it had gone to one of those authors who were present in Bolton Town Hall on Saturday morning. It was a friendly affair, with lots of children and parents and teachers in the audience.Jill Hucklesby

A lively Liverpudlian poet by the name of Terry Caffrey looked after things, and engaged even the Mayor in musical style poetry. The children talked about their favourite books, and introduced the authors, and generally did a good job. Some of them also won prizes for book cover designs and for a writing competition.Colin Bateman

After the prize ceremony all five authors present signed books, and they all had nice long queues, and I really approve of the piles of books some of the children were clutching. As the unofficial entourage of Nick Green, I have to say how pleased I am that all his Lulu printed copies of Cat’s Paw sold, and that’s not counting the ones I had bought. I’m still counting on those paying for my pension one day.Cat Weatherill

Did I set up that club for authors’ wives that I was talking about months ago? I feel Mrs Gatti will do well there.

What is it with cats?

The cat subject was started inadvertently, I promise. But it now seems to have a life of its own. On Friday afternoon the witch met up with Nick Green in Bolton where he had gone for the Bolton book awards this morning. And as you well know by now, Nick’s book is The Cat Kin.

The other shortlisted books are Colin Bateman, Titanic 2020; Will Gatti, The Geek, the Greek and the Pimpernel; F E Higgins, Black Book of Secrets; Jill Hucklesby, Deeper Than Blue; Derek Landy, Skulduggery Pleasant; Jenny Valentine, Finding Violet Park; and Cat Weatherill, Wild Magic.

Nick GreenSome of the other authors had also made it to Bolton, and we ended up sitting in the sunshine in the beautiful hotel garden over cups of tea. I never like admitting to people that I’ve not read their books, but this time I had to. Luckily they had just spent the day with school children who had read all the shortlisted books, and they had aching arms from all the book signing they’d had to do.

Nice bunch of people, and it’s always interesting to hear what different experiences writers have had. The eagle eyed among you will have spotted that two of the authors are called cat in one form or other. And the hotel cat kept sauntering across the lawn where we were sitting.

It would be good, if somewhat confusing, if they all won the award this morning. Can’t be done, I suppose.