Move closer to your computer screens now. I’m about to tell you about A Very Good Book. I’m so much more excited about it, because it’s precisely the kind of book I would not have picked up in a shop. But I have thought long and hard about why not, and it’s simply due to my advanced years. This book has ‘young appeal’. The cover, the title and the blurb are all aimed at low to mid-teen readers, and there has most likely been very little thought to the needs of witches of a certain age.
Which is all as it should be. Really. I’m ashamed to admit I had never heard of Stephen Davies. Outlaw is not even his first book. All I know is that I do not intend for it to be my last Stephen Davies novel, if I can help it. I also have a dreadful urge to ‘run around town’ waving a copy of Outlaw at every potential reader I can think of.
When I was first told about Stephen’s book I almost groaned. ‘Not another African book!’. And when it appeared in these parts I mentioned it to the Resident IT Consultant, and he could tell I was dithering, so offered to taste it for me. Before the evening was out he had finished it and he said it was ‘good’. When he says ‘good’ it means much better than when you and I say ‘good’. So I began reading straight away.
I had to stop reading to go to bed, even though I’d got to a good bit. What am I saying? All the bits were good, but you know what I mean. The advantage with pausing like that is that you know you’re in for some extra good stuff when you return to reading.
Oh dear, that’s four paragraphs just waffling about me.
Stephen lives in Burkina Faso, and he has worked as a missionary there for ten years, which means he knows the place, and it shows. Outlaw is about Jake who is suspended from his school in England, and he travels out to join his family in Burkina Faso, where his father is the British ambassador. He has barely arrived when he and his younger sister Kas are kidnapped.
The question is by whom? And who can they trust?
There is a terrorist organisation that the British want to get rid of. Is it them? And are they truly bad? Jake and Kas are two very attractive characters for this ‘Alex Rider in the real Africa’ kind of story. They have to learn to look at things in a new light, and there is both excitement and real danger.
I don’t want to say too much, in case it ruins your reading (because you will read this…), but while it sounds like your run-of-the-mill adventure, it is anything but.
And I must say that finishing the book just after news broke about Bin Laden added some unexpected thoughts on terrorism and the west. And things.
There aren’t too many Burkina Faso thrillers available, and this is one of the best. Certainly the best I’ve read…