Saturday, March 12, 2016

Changeling's Island by Dave Freer

When he gets upset, strange things happen around him.  He's trying to impress a pretty girl and shoplifts a DVD in a store.  He gets caught, she denies knowing him and says he's a stalker.  While he's being braced in the office about the theft, a fire starts in the air conditioner and they all have to clear the building.  His mother decides that's the last straw and calls his father looking for a solution.  Their solution is to send him to Australia to live with his grandmother...

Baen and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 5th.

Tim is not excited about this change.  He gets even more depressed when he finds out his "Nan" doesn't drive anymore, there is no internet connection and she has jobs for him to do.  He can't play games or do email with friends.  He has no desire to milk a cow or work with sheep or deal with a garden.  But he also has no choice.

This is a fantasy with little people and a selkie making appearances, but it's really the tale of a boy growing up.  He finds they have very little money so he starts not only helping Nan on her place but helping other neighbors for funds.  He begins saving for a trip back home or maybe somewhere else since neither parent wants him.

He discovers his grandmother can't see much, that there is a lot do on a farm and that he likes to fish.  He makes a new female friend, Molly.  She's a neighbor who rides on the schoolbus with him and she has a big dog.  Soon they are playing on the beach together and fishing.  It's dangerous by the water, though.  The selkie wants Tim to give her the King of Fairies key.  He has no idea where it is or what he should do.  She threatens his life.

This story is tense because there's danger everywhere.  With magical forces influencing him, he has to fight for the right side but he doesn't know what is right.

I found this to be a very satisfying read.  There are sad spots (whose life doesn't have those moments?) but it has a good ending and entertained me more than a movie would have.  I found myself rooting for Tim and Nan all the way through.  Give it a try:  You'll learn about selkies and little people and about life, too.

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