Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Review: Mysteries of Ravenstorm Island - The Lost Children by Gillian Philip

Publisher: Orchard Books
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: September 4th, 2014
Rating: 9/10

Amazon summary:

When Molly and her little brother Jack visit their rich relatives on Ravenstorm Island, Molly feels immediately on edge. An elderly butler gives them bizarre warnings, eerie statues of children are dotted around the island, and - worse - she's expected to be friends with her moody cousin, Arthur. But things become much worse when Jack disappears - and no one else on the island remembers he ever existed! Molly and Arthur must work together to save Jack. They unlock a hidden world of vicious spirits, but will they uncover the secret behind the Lost Children before it's too late? 


The Lost Children is the first book in Gillian Philip's brand new Mysteries of Ravenstorm Island series and is a book I very much enjoyed. The cover states it's 'for fans of Enid Blyton', which I would agree with based solely on the adventure aspect, but it's also perfect for anyone who likes The Spiderwick Chronicles. This story is very much fantasy based, with fey creatures, gargoyles and stone children making an appearance, which is why fans of Spiderwick need to get a copy as soon as possible!

Molly and her younger brother Jack go to Ravenstorm Island to stay with their aunt, uncle and cousin Arthur. Strange things start happening almost as soon as they get there, and soon it becomes clear that all is not as it seems. When Jack disappears, Molly and Arthur are left with the task of rescuing him, and are the only people who even remember he exists. What follows is a race against time to find Jack, save him and return to Ravenstorm Island unscathed. The question is: are Molly and Arthur up to the task?

I've always loved anything like this, with fantasy creatures and mysterious islands being top of my must-buy list when it comes to younger fiction. There's something so enchanting about these other worlds, and Gillian Philip does a great job of introducing another one here. Her creatures are equally brilliant, too, and I particularly like the shadowsprye that feature heavily in Molly's story. I'm interested to find out more about the gargoyles who reside at Ravenstorm Hall - hopefully they'll be featured in a future book and their heritage will be explored in more detail. I find gargoyles fascinating, and so gothic. Brilliant decoration for a huge hall on a creepy island!

The Lost Children is one of those books I'd happily read again, though I'm going to have to lend it to a ten-year-old bibliophile first. I'm sure he'll love it as much as I did, especially because of the lovely characterisation and all the mystery surrounding Ravenstorm Island and its inhabitants. I'm really looking forward to more books in this series, which continues with The Ship of Ghosts in 2015. Sounds a bit ominous!

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