That’s not fair, Mr Jones. I’ve told you about Icarus. You said you’d answer one question.
What if this is the end of my story – What if I stop now? What then?
All right, but I want to have the chance to ask you a few things. Is that a deal?
Look, Mr Jones, Becky could have been cooking up porkies when she told me later that she understood those scribbles. She’d only translated fragments and when they were shown to her editor, Tess, at the inquest, she said she thought they were notes Becky had made for her next novel.
(My Side Of The Diamond by Sally Gardner. P51.) Synopsis:
Jazmin’s friend Becky is the talented one. So clever, writing novels as a young age. Then she disappears. Did she jump off the roof? Fall? Was she pushed? The inquest says she jumped, but it never explains why her body wasn’t found.
A string of similar cases have happened in recent history. The only thing they have in common is Icarus, the beguiling young man who was jailed many years ago. How is it possible that Icarus is still a young man? How does he walk in and out of jail every night without being caught?
And why did Jazmin Little let herself get involved in all this?
A novel full of beautiful ideas, but in the end it didn’t hold my attention. The main problem for me was the huge cast of characters. Key events happen in the present day, and to a number of people a generation ago. It all comes together, but in the middle I found it hard to give my attention to every storyline.The other thing that complicates it for me is the number of beings. We have aliens and cyborgs, girls made of clay and a boy reawaken from the dead. Few of those are the key cast of characters.
Why post the review if it’s not glowing? As another reviewer noted, this isn’t a bad book. Not by any standards. The writing is compelling. I cared hugely about Becky and the pressure she was put under by her family. I also cared about Jazmin, the girl from the council estate who is always under suspicion, even though she’s the one with a level-head. I wanted Jazmin to show everyone what she could do in her own right. The characters are created so well I cared hugely about them. It’s not a bad book – it’s an unusual book. You come out at the end wondering what you’ve been through. Some people will love that. It wasn’t for me.
The book itself is a beautiful object, and I love how the illustrations work with the text. My advice is to give it a go – if you’re uncertain about the heavy number of sci-fi beings, and the multiple stories, try it from your local library first.
Thanks to Readers First and Hot Key Books for sending a copy in exchange for honest review.