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.
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.