Title: Day of Deliverance
Author: Johnny O’Brien
Published: Boardbook: June 2010 Paperback: (The cover opposite) October 2010
Format: ARC copy
Pages: 190 (Note: The final copy will be more pages as they make the text smaller to save money on galleys)
RRP: The hardback (Amazon calls it a boardbook) is £9.99.
The second novel in the Jack Christie Adventure series finds our schoolboy hero travelling back in time to foil the plot to assassinate Elizabeth 1. The story, rich in period detail, involves the playwright Marlowe and a young actor called William Shakespeare. This time, Jack and Angus will use all their bravery and skill to thwart Pendleshape and his misguided notions of surgical time changes. Featuring historically accurate black and white illustrations, this action-adventure has special appeal for the more reluctant reader.
A short disclaimer: This book is aimed at 9-12 year old boys. Now this is the first book I have read which is for that group, so please bear that in mind whilst reading my review.
When I first started reading this book I was reading it with gritted teeth and it took me half an hour to read 20 pages (and not just because the text is small and the page is big). Now, it might be because I am not a 12 year old boy, but the first couple of chapters I could hardly bear because of the lack of plot or any sort of defining moment.
However, once there WAS a plot, I got a lot more into it. I do think that the writing quality itself was not the absolute best in the world. If you compare some books, even if there is not much going on, you can still enjoy it – but it was not the case with this book. There was action and a storyline nearly all the way through the book, though, which made me manage to complete the book before I started chucking it at a wall!
I had a few problems with the characters, and again, I think it is down to the age group this is aimed for, but the main character Jack, and his best friend, Angus are 15 and 17, respectively. I thought they acted a little young for their age, and also didn’t really use the right language – they are older teens in the 21st century, not young gentleman from the 19th century! Their behaviour was most likely lowered due to the age group – why would 9-12 year olds really want to read what a 17 year old was really like?
The plot and descriptions made it the most interesting thing for me. It kept me reading and I liked the adventure and action – you don’t get much adventure in older YA novels directed to girls.
Sometimes I thought what characters did was a bit off. For example, early on in the book Angus and Jack go to Gino’s (an Italian bistro in their town of Soonhope), and Angus asks for four chip butties. When Jack asks him why he ordered four, Angus replies saying he has to “bulk up” for tomorrow’s [rugby] game against Melrose. Now, I am not saying I am a rugby expert, but I didn’t think you could bulk up for a game the next day by eating a lot?! I’d just feel bloated….
Overall, I think if there wasn’t much of a plot, I would have dumped this book. I hadn’t read a thrilling book in a while so it satisfied my hunger for some action. At points there was things that didn’t quite add up, so ended up confusing me and making my enjoyment decline.
Nevertheless, if you are a 9-12 year old boy, you will probably fall in love with it.
The best thing about it! Lots of things going on and a lot of adventure equal me being entertained.
Writing Quality: 3/10
Not my kind of style, and there were obvious mistakes to do with behaviour and age, amongst other things.
I am sure it would be easy to find a book similar to this, and I have read books with similar if not better action plots with the same kind of style, but for older teens.
Most of the characters were under developed, and I would have enjoyed getting some background info on some characters. Jack and Angus were likeable, but I didn’t know much about them [or what they looked like] (could be because I haven’t read the first book in the series).
Another one of the things which kept me reading. If I didn’t find out detailed descriptions of Elizabethan England I would have been thoroughly annoyed, because what is a time travelling adventure without detailed descriptions of the place?!
30/50 = 60%
This book was sent to me as part of a blog tour for Day of Deliverance, the second in the Jack Christie novels.
The tour schedule is as follows: