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The International Writers Magazine: Kids Books Reviews

A Crystal Horseman - Bad Tuesdays Book. 5
by Benjamin J. Myers
Sam North review
Published 04/08/2011
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
ISBN 9781842556436
This is the latest and final instalment in the long running Bad Tuesdays saga that started off with The Twisted Symmetry just a few years ago.Saving the best for last. Ben Myers has delivered an action packed page-turner that makes compelling reading. 

bad tuesdays

Ok, I seem to have missed out on one of the series, but it doesn’t matter at all, you quickly pick up who is who, and why. The homeless streetrats from the wharf have come a very long way from what at first seemed like a Dickensian scene, to one that encompasses deep space, robots, hybrid dogmen, invisible Warps and the Twisted Symmetry itself, who seek out pain to suck from thousands of children. They wish to store it for one last blast into the Symmetry to make them live forever and obliterate everyone else.
            Box has become a smart, tough military man – still not too bright, but damn good at soldiering.  Splinter, his brother went power mad and now languishes in a kind of purgatory and is prematurely old.  He betrayed his sister Chess and is paying a very big price for that, a hollow victory.
            Chess is trapped in the Mobius cell where they are filling her up with the screaming souls of the kids literally sucked from earth. She knows she can’t escape and that soon she will explode in a kind of super nova.
            Meanwhile Anna, Trick and Pacer left behind on Earth miss their old buddies and are busy honing their survival skills. Anna in particular is getting so good with a sword she can use it blindfold.  She will need those skills.
            Yes, you have to keep on your toes reading this.  People and dogmen change sides. No one is quite who they say they are and death is always near and body parts go missing very easily. This book is not for the squeamish.
            This is Box’s story really.  Finally coming into his own, this is his quest for find his way back to rescue Chess (no matter how hard the odds are) and redeem himself in her eyes.  Supporting him in this quest are the skilled dogman Razool, Skarl and Raxa and the shape shifter Shera (who seems to want to kill him first chance she gets).  Back on earth, Ethel at the Committee is still trying to find a way to break through the new barriers that hold Chess, knowing they have just weeks or days to do this before all mankind is destroyed.
            After being sent on a suicide ship to the X’ath zone and fighting the deadly spikers (that regenerate as you blast them), Box undergoes some drastic modifications to survive.  He is on his way to becoming an indestructible killing machine, a Deadbolt rider, a kind of nuclear powered warhorse, gaining the respect of the dogmen who usually only have contempt for skins (humans).
            Can they rescue Chess before all hell breaks loose?
            You can’t fall asleep reading this – it’s a challenge – there’s a lot going on, but anyone who ever wanted to go up a level knows that that’s how it is now.  Reading The Crystal Horseman you are on level five and everyone else is going to be left behind gasping.  You will not be disappointed.
© Sam North – author of ‘Mean Tide(Now a Young Adult Mystery e-book)

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