Wednesday, November 7, 2007

American English

So, Anthony Horowitz writes trash fiction ... no doubt about it. He spits books out with alarming regularity, and they do tend to be the same story, over and over again. Yet, they are somewhat addictive (although I think I'm over Alex Rider) and one must continue to read them to avoid withdrawal. There's nothing wrong with a bag of Cheetos every now and then, I say.

Plus, we send kudos to him for writing so successfully for boys -- those pesky reluctant readers.

Yes, I traveled to Washington County (about 10 miles from my house, but this time my car broke down on the highway ... dead alternator) for another book on cassette. I went to retrieve Nightrise, the third in the Gatekeeper pentalogy/quintology/quintet (do I get points for that?), which is called The Power of Five in England. Perhaps you remember in the earlier adventures of Matt Freeman that he had that mystical experience in Peru where he met twin boys in a ... was it a boat? Well, Nightrise is the story of the twin boys, Scott and Jamie Tyler. They are telepathic and can read each others' minds and are -- at the beginning of the story -- part of a nightclub act in Reno. However, evil is afoot -- in the form of the vast corporation called Nightrise (were they mentioned in Evil Star, I can't remember) -- which appears to be a front for the Old Ones. Nightrise has been kidnapping children who show any telepathic ability and now they are after Scott and Jamie.

The kidnappers only manage to snag Scott, but Jamie -- with the help of the mother of one of the kidnapped children -- figures out a way to find and rescue him. Where I am in the story, Jamie is having a near-death experience: according to the plot, he has been pronounced dead, but he's in some mysterious landscape and meets some people who know him. He travels with them (on horseback) and is preparing for battle.

Simon Prebble is reading this. He seems to do all of Horowitz's books, as I listened to him read an Alex Rider novel last year. He's a very good reader, but he's not particularly suited to this title, which doesn't need his Englishness. He's inconsistent with his character voices -- some of his Americans have an American accent (or Prebble's version of an American accent, which sounds very back-of-the-throat to me), but some of them don't. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to his choices. He must be waiting for Matt Freeman to reappear so he can sink comfortably into his own voice for awhile.

So, while I'm wrapped up in the inexorable forward motion of this story, but wonder if it might be better in print. I don't see any need to nominate this one.

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