Wednesday, 12 September 2012

D M Andrews

Darren writes in different genres.  He's a hard man to categorise.

The Serpent in the Glass  The Serpent in the Glass

My review -

This is an excellent story, allegedly for young readers but interestingy told so that it will appeal to adult fantasy readers too. I always feel you need to be at least as good a writer and possibly better to write for the young, who do not suffer fools gladly. They are not prepared to wait for long expositions or scene setting and demand action, sense and a darned good story. They get them all here. Thomas Farrell, an orphan, goes to boarding school after his 11th birthday and for the first time, has friends other than his adopted sister.

We find out, with Thomas, about the school he attends, the place it 'joins' in another world and his father's place there. We meet other races from this world too, which to me, harked back a little to Alan Garner's wonderful creations. There are echoes of Celtic mythology too - very nicely done. There is some lovely writing here, especially when Thomas first discovers Darkledun Grange. The pace of the story is just right and there were exciting episodes in there that kept me reading much longer than I should have been! I enjoyed this very much and I was pleased to see from the ending, that the way is left open for more from these believable characters.

This next book, a novella really, gave me a huge lot of pleasure.

Pied and Prodigious  Pied and Prodigious

My review -

This book is a little gem! I was privileged to read this pre-publication and I enjoyed it so much! I am a very keen Jane Austen fan and have read Pride and Prejudice at least half a dozen times so I am aware of how closely D M Andrews has followed the orignial. His take on the names gave me many a giggle and I found myself looking forward to how he would deal with Mr Coggins' risible and ego-centric proposal to Lizzy and the appearance at her home of the monstrous Lady Catherine de Bore. I was not let down! There are some laugh aloud moments in this book, particularly when the author, in the midst of following Miss Austen's story very closely, drops in a modern expression.

This is very different from D M Andrews' previous book The Serpent in the Glass (The Tale of Thomas Farrell) and demonstrates his versatility as an author. The better you know Pride and Prejudice the more you will appreciate his talent at parody. I enjoyed this book very much. It remained respectful to the original but the resulting humorous version is one I feel sure Jane Austen herself would have laughed at.

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