International Writers Magazine:Young
Clovers fast paced
imaginings will certainly appeal to young people looking for escapism.
His enthusiasm for fantasy is obvious; ghosts turn into trees, sleeping
souls are imprisoned by evil forces, and giant snakes lurk in school corridors.
He also gives Colin an engaging voice, littering it with quirky observations.
Colin may talk to ghosts and pigeons, but he makes sure the pigeons talk
like Samuel. L.Jackson, and the ghosts smell bad like the inside of a
Angels by Andrew Clovers
Aby Davis review
one of Andrew Clovers debut novel his teenage protagonist announces
he's got problems. He's short, clever and has weird dreams. So far,
so average, until Colin tells the reader he is psychic and can talk
person narrative tells Colin's story as he experiences it, making
it easy to follow but sometimes difficult to understand. Our hero
confides all in the reader However, no one else seems to have time
for him, his mum would rather be with either of her boyfriends,
and his best friend Polly just seems to humour him. The arrival
of eccentric Uncle Jimmy seems to offer all kinds of answers, as
Colin finds a use for his powers, and an explanation for the strange
things that are beginning to happen. Then, when Polly gets attacked
by mysterious villains, Colin finds himself in the middle of something
personal, and the story begins to have further direction.
Older readers however, may find the plot clumsy, and the characters underdeveloped.
Colin is has a high I.Q but speaks like his lazily spoken peers, "I
don't never say sorry" He says, and the reader is expected to forgive
him because no one else understands him.The dialogue between the school
pupils is sometimes difficult to understand, although this could add to
the realism that Glover may want to contrast with the more magical happenings.
The story is arresting, and there are some moments of true beauty as Glover
briefly flirts with the afterlife, and Colin comes to terms with the death
of his father. However, the story feels too cluttered with unnecessary
complications.Glover appears to be trying to deal with too many issues.
As well as battling with things of a supernatural world, Colin struggles
with ideas of capitalism, racism and religion. He experiences his first
kiss, and helps a friend come out as homosexual.
It feels like Colin is struggling with more than his character can cope
with, he spends most of the story ignoring the talking pigeons and avoiding
a final battle. He floats about meeting ghosts and worrying about Polly,
and the reader can't help but think its a shame she's in a coma because
her character may spur on the action a bit.
Clover is often making political points and the fact that the baddie is
filled with oil may be lost on younger readers, but it makes for gory
reading. This will surely delight those wishing for the villains messy
end, and Collins triumphant victory.
Dirty Angels will please, and amuse. It has the right formula to entertain
young lovers of fantasy, and people longing for magic in the ordinary.
It also empowers the underdog, a recurring theme in children's literature
that certainly does no harm, and it has a friendly message to simply be
yourself. Nothing new, perhaps, but also nothing that's unwelcome. If
the story feels busy and overcomplicated, it may just suggest an enthusiastic
author, eager to show his vision in its entirety. Whatever your conclusion,
it is certainly easy to emphasise with the leading character and his many
© Aby Davis October 2007
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