Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Raider's Ransom (MG)

Raider's Ransom. Emily Diamand. 2009. Scholastic. 368 pages.

Cat puts up his nose to sniff the breath of wind barely filling the sail, and opens his small pink mouth to speak.

Knowing that I could never quite do justice to Raider's Ransom in my review, let me encourage you to just pick up this one and give it a try. I can't promise that you'll love it. But. You just may. It's that kind of book. The kind that actually delivers what it promises.
If you like action/adventure quests, I think you'll really, really appreciate Raider's Ransom. I think you'll enjoy the world Diamand created in the novel. I think there will be scenes that stay with you. I think you'll enjoy not only her world-building but her characterization and storytelling too.

The heroine of Raider's Ransom is a young girl, Lilly. She may be young, but she's a fisherman with a small (very small) boat of her own. And to the dismay of some, she's the owner of a cat, a sea cat. Not something to be taken lightly in her community of survivors. When she's at home, on land, she stays with her grandmother. But. Readers don't get a chance to see a more relaxed Lilly. For the novel opens with Lilly discovering the tragic truth: when she was out sailing her vessel, out fishing, the raiders (or should that be Raiders?) attacked her village. They were looking for something specific, the attack wasn't just random. I don't know if that makes things better or worse for Lilly since one of the things they were looking for was her cat. The Raiders kill Lilly's grandmother, and kidnap the Prime Minister's daughter. One might think that they kidnapped her for a nice ransom, but, they had something even more in mind. They return without their sought-after object, a particular jewel. And that's only the beginning. The problem? Well, I can't talk about this one without revealing too much. I think this is one of those that is best discovered all on your own. Trust me.

So. I won't go into details. But I will say we get another narrator. And that proves most interesting indeed! For I certainly wasn't expecting it at all.

This one went above and beyond all my expectations. It really did. It surprised me in a good way.

Read Raider's Ransom
  • If you like survival stories or starting over stories; 
  • If you like action/adventure stories with a quest, a journey, a mission
  • If you like action stories with battles and close escapes
  • If you like dystopias, novels set in the future with a society quite unlike our own
  • If you like good storytelling

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf 3:43 PM  

I've got a copy of this buried in the TBR pile somewhere, saw it recommend ages ago (back when I first started book blogging) and got a copy off of Bookmooch I think. Might have to don a hard-hat, head in and dig it out!

Lectus 3:18 PM  

Darn it! now i have to read the book!

Sherry 7:17 PM  

You've earned some trust, Becky, with past reviews, so I'll try to check this one out.

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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