Monday, 6 October 2008

Hexwood - Dianna Wynne Jones

I think this is the fourth Diana Wynne Jones book that I have read this year - which is not bad for a grown up. After borrowing the enjoyable Howl's Moving Castle from me, my niece recognised the author's name whilst in her school library and kindly borrowed a copy of Hexwood for me to read. Which was a very sweet gesture but it did mean that I had to read the book very quickly indeed so that it could be returned to the school asap! She is due to stay over next Friday (my niece not Diana Wynne Jones!) so we will no doubt discuss this book then and I have arranged to lend her the excellent film of Howl's Moving Castle in return.

I have to say that I am delighted that she did borrow this book for me as it's the best book by Diana Wynne Jones that I have read so far. It's actually pretty complex and I had to return to pages I'd already read to remind myself just who is who. I suspect that this is a book that will definitely improve with a re-read as I am sure that I missed some, retrospectively obvious, clues along the way.

I'm not sure that I can adequately describe what this book is actually about, and the blurb is not much help but we'll give it a go:

"Strange things happen at Hexwood Farm.

From her window, Ann Stavely watches person after person disappear through the farm's gate - and never come out again. Later, in the woods nearby, she meets a tormented sorcerer, who seems to have arisen from a centuries-long sleep. But Ann knows she saw him enter the farm just that morning. Meanwhile, time keeps shifting in the woods, where a small boy - or perhaps a teenager - has encountered a robot and a dragon. Long before the end of their adventure, the strangeness of Hexwood has spread from Earth right out to the center of the galaxy."

Make any sense? Understand what you can expect from this book yet? Nope? OK. Take it from me that this is a Sci-Fi book for young (and not so young) adult where you can't assume what you have just read is true or that the characters are who they think they are but with a good heart at its centre.

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