by jolly what fun! i loved the billionaire's curse numero uno and number two is just as spiffing.
gerald, ruby and sam are enjoying their summer after the horrible events with sir mason green and the creepy thin man (who smells of bleach) and the golden rod and the crypt with the rats...hoo boy was it an exciting tale. now they've been invited to india to stay with alisha and mr gupta. india is loud and busy and exciting. mr gupta's house is extravagant and plush with lots of croissants and sweet lime juice (completely innappropriately i kept thinking about the darjeeling limited and jason schwartzman and the sweet lime girl...no, not appropriate at all). then it appears that the second of the three caskets (which belonged to gerald's family many, many, many years ago) is hidden somewhere in india and our gang of four must find it before the evil sir mason green does. of course trouble is afoot and soon gerald, the wisecracking twins ruby and sam, and alicia are dodging ninjas and creepy fortune tellers and bandits - and they're not exactly sure who to trust. then there's the question of this mysterious fraternity.
i love gerald and the billionaire's curse for a number of reasons:
- it is a lot of fun and doesn't take itself too seriously.
- from the first chapter - nay, the first PAGE - it sets a cracking pace and the story is totally gripping.
- it doesn't rest itself irrevocably in reality - give me billionaire 13 year olds and private jets where you can ride on plastic trays for plane sledding during take off (and then turn the plane around just so you can do it again!), give me twists of fate, and lucky breaks.
- the hint of james bond accompanied by lashings of enid blyton.
- in the emerald casket, newsome mentions the tsunami and manages to include it in the story, plus he acknowledges (but doesn't make a massive point of it) england's colonisation of india - hopefully aussie kids will find this interesting and ask some questions.
richard is blogging at inside a dog this month and the other day he discussed amateur internet reviewers. i guess i'm not an amateur because i am paid to review children's books when i'm not on the internet, but on my blog i am more likely to offer my personal reaction as well as a more considered, objective review. so i'm not a kittykat with a book and a feather, nor am i hannibal lecter.
(and it's not because of my neck-beard or penchant for planet-sized earrings).