Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

Here's a charming children's/young adult fantasy novel that I found out about from bookshelves of doom, one of the many book blogs I read (and haven't had time to add to the sidebar on this site).

The people in an Irish village called Kinvara have a problem. Everyone seems to be running out of time. No matter how frantically they rush around trying to get everything done, there's never enough time to do it all. And although this sounds like a typical problem for people all over the western world today, in this case it's a little bit more than that. JJ Liddy, a fifteen-year-old boy, finds himself in a whole new world (literally) when he asks his mother's friend Anne to help him find more time as a birthday gift to his mum. Suddenly he realizes that maybe all those crazy stories that Irish people have been telling each other for centuries - about fairies, magic, and music - might have a bit of truth to them.

JJ's adventure was a fun, light read that I think a lot of younger fantasy readers (and some of the older ones like me!) might enjoy. The author has added an interesting element to the story by inserting a relevent piece of Irish music in between each chapter. While this is a neat idea, in practice it turned out to mean lots of extra page turning - especially since the chapters tend to be really short, some only a page long. I think I'd rather have had the book come with a CD that I could listen to while I read the book, and the sheet music in an appendix. Regardless, the story was interesting enough to keep me turning those pages long past the point where the music stopped being a novelty and started being an obstacle I had to get past in between each small chunk of the book.

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