Eleven thousand metres up in the night sky, Sam Fetch sat slumped in an aeroplane seat, feeling very sorry for himself. How could his parents have been so cruel as to send him off like an unwanted package to some English relatives he hardly knew? Frankly, he didn’t care if he never got to know them. It was so long since he’d last seen them – more than six years, when he’d been only five. They may as well be total strangers. Why did he have to go there? Sam thought crossly.
He was certain it would rain every day, and it would be weird spending every minute indoors with people he hardly knew.
Sam’s parents are bird-watching in the Arctic for the summer, and because he complained so much last time, that they’ve found somewhere else for him to be. Only that’s promising to be even more dull and boring than bird-watching. He remembers only little about his English cousin, but what he remembers he doesn’t like. Not that Jenny’s much more thrilled when she discovers that she has to look after Sam. Her parents have been called away on an important mission and she’d much rather have gone with them. After all, she’s a Boggle Hunter too. Boggles are nasty pests, a ‘by-product of the cold war that has always existed between the rival faery tribes known as the Fays and the Grays. Boggles are created by Grays to cause havoc in our human world, while Fays must constantly work at detecting and destroying boggles before they cause that havoc. When Sam and Jenny re-meet, they are no keener to spend time together than previously. Both have plans and are happy to agree to go their separate ways. And those ways are as far from each other as possible.
Boggle Hunters: Game On is the first title in a new series for young readers. Fay and Gray folk are warring faeries with very differing views on the importance of Earth and humans. Boggles are responsible for all sorts of earthly disruption from computer glitches to crop failures. There are secrets everywhere and the reader must be constantly alert for clues as to who is on the side of good and who supports evil. Sam and Jenny find their own way and make their own decisions, but the ways they choose do not always lead where they expect. Computer gamers will enjoy Grim’s Castle which captivates Sam. Fantasy readers will track Jenny’s adventures and race to the conclusions with her. Recommended for mid- to upper-primary readers.
Boggle Hunters: Game On, Sophie Masson
Scholastic Press 2012 ISBN: 9781741698510
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
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