Review by Jaqueline Samroo
The protagonists are realistic and easy to like. The reader is able to feel genuine concern for them and their quest. The presence of constant danger to them is well relayed but it is definitely not over done. The ending pages nicely tie up the loose ends in the story while ensuring that you are eager to see how it all fits into the stories to come.
The illustrations work to complement the text while seeming to add depth to it. In a way, they tell stories of their own. They provide vivid glimpses of the environments the story plays out in and the urgency of the situation the characters face.
Overall, a gripping tale utilizing a very interesting take on post-apocalyptic possibilities.
Captain Taylor: The Starship Ceu
The character descriptions are clear and easy to relate to. The backstory to their situation is well thought out and effectively relayed, making it more convincing. The fact that these characters seem to have more depth to their personalities than those in the first book may have to do with the plot of this story being somewhat more intense and complex. The twists in the story are intriguing and delivered competently so as to build suspense and pull you expectantly to the next page.
Again, the illustrations add to the story, helping to bring it to life for us.
Overall, a well told story about how human nature plays out in an extraordinary situation.
Initially, this story does not seem to flow as smoothly as the two before it. That is soon corrected, however, as it develops into an intriguing tale with suspense skillfully built into it. The characters, though particularly hardened in some cases, are still easy to relate to. That is perhaps due to the fact that enough of their influences and motives are exposed to us. The progression of the story keeps us guessing what will happen next and how the main characters will react to new developments.
There is an instance (the chateau scenes) where you are left thinking that something is missing or not fully developed.
The illustrations work well in conveying the moods throughout the story and as such do not detract from it but complement it quite well.
Overall, a compelling story with fully fleshed out characters.
Kay: Capital City Arena Champion
The reader does not feel lost in the myriad of characters presented in this story. That is because the story is well written with clear and creative descriptions of each new character encountered. Kay’s development is explored and presented in a simple, matter-of-fact and believable fashion. The nature of the gladiators’ world and what it takes to remain alive there is comprehensively and effectively conveyed.
The illustrations in this book seem to have a different quality from those in the other books. This may be due to the large number of non-human characters presented. The difference does not diminish the quality of the story, however, as the illustrations do seem to fit in with the style and tone of the text.
Overall, a cleverly told story of strong multifaceted characters, ambition and survival.
Chibuzo: The Goblin Shark
While the story seems somewhat simpler than a couple of the others in the set, it is still an engaging read from start to finish. The writing style does get a bit hard to follow in a few places but generally the story is well written and flows nicely with a pace that never slows down too much. The characters here are ably explored and presented to the reader.
Just as in the other stories, the connections between this and the other books are sometimes explicitly laid out. In other instances, these associations are only hinted at and it is at these times that we find ourselves going back to sections of the previous stories to make linkages for ourselves before all is revealed.
Once again, the illustrations work in tandem with the text to ensure that the reader gets a full picture of the world the books explore.
Overall, an exciting story told to elicit more than a few laughs while maintaining steady character and plot development.