Sunday, 11 August 2013

While the Others Sleep

While away camping I found time to read the latest Tom Becker ghost story: While the Others Sleep.

In my view this book is vastly superior to The Traitors, the only other Tom Becker novel I'd read.  I had several problems with the latter, despite the original and imaginative setting and the gripping first few chapters: the protagonist was far too heroic, the middle story was saggy and the ending was just rubbish.

I've given While the Others Sleep 4 stars - see my Children's/YA fiction Ratings here.  My review is below and can also be seen on Amazon, where I was the first person to review this book!

I've kept it relatively brief as I didn't want to give too much of the story away.

While the Others Sleep by Tom Becker - an Independent Review
This is a creepy ghost (verging on horror) story about a boy who is shut up in a Victorian mental hospital for rich disturbed kids. Unlike the other patients, Alfie isn't mad (as far as he knows), but is suffering from severe insomnia.

He soon discovers that something is seriously wrong - dark supernatural forces are at large and his insomnia puts him at special risk. Seemingly irrelevant events from his past are linked to his condition and may also be clues to source of the present danger.

As the book progresses, so many strange things happen that it becomes hard to suspend disbelief. I had to keep reading to find how the book ended, but I kept thinking that it would be disappointing and leave too many disconnected threads. I was wrong! The ending is very unexpected (at least I didn't see it coming) but really does pull things together in a very neat way.

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