Title: The Riverkeep
Author: Martin Stewart
Blurb: For some reason I returned this book to the library without writing the blurb down so I’m sorry, but there isn’t a blurb in this review (as when I google it I just get a variety of different synopsis’). But basically it’s about this boy called Wulliam who doesn’t want to take over his dad’s responsibilities for keeping the river, but then ends up going on this big adventure and meeting lots of new people in an attempt to sort out some big thing that happened (which I’m not going to mention because spoilers! You’ll have to read it 😉 )
Non-spoiler thoughts: It was okay, I suppose. I’m not the biggest fan of this book, but I’m not discouraging you from reading it at all. I can’t deny that it has a good storyline, I just don’t think I like Stewarts style of writing. You might like his style of writing, and so you’d like the book more than I do. There are also a couple of elements of the story that I’m not so keen on but… the main reason I’m not too keen is his style of writing.
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Thoughts: So, as I’ve already said, I’m not the biggest fan of this book.
First of all, I don’t like the way it’s written. Stewarts style of writing just isn’t for me, I guess. Another aspect of this that I don’t like is that he writes the speech how the characters speak, and as they’re not very educated, this isn’t very well. Now I could get it if he wrote with bad grammar and stuff like that, but he writes in spelling mistakes etc. that don’t make any difference to how the word is said so just make it harder to read. He writes it in a rather it-sounds-how-it’s-spelt kind of way, which made me read it very slowly and annoyed me quite a bit.
Second of all, I dislike the way that everything is explained. When Wull’s dad is ‘taken over’ by the demon, it never actually specifies this. It ends one chapter with Wull rowing home alone after his dad had been dragged into the water of the river, and starts the next one with Wull in his house with his dad tied to the chair. When did he rescue his dad? What happened there? It just doesn’t make much sense.
Third of all, I’m not that keen on the characters. Wull doesn’t seem that realistic to me, and I dislike Mr Tillinghast. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it’s not the way that he’s written that I dislike, it’s his personality. The same could be said for Severus Snape and I still like Harry Potter, if that helps to illustrate my point slightly better.
Fourth of all, I felt as though the ending was very rushed. It just didn’t sit right with me? All through the book the pace has been going at a decent speed, them rowing up the river, a few minor-ish events along the way, but then they get to Canna Bay and within a couple of chapters Wull has fought the momorach twice, fought Mr Pent and beaten him, fought Captain Murdagh and beaten him, saved a ship-full of people in his tiny rowing boat, rescued all of Mr Tillinghast’s parts, his dad has drowned, baby Bonn has run off and Remedie and Mix have gone after him never to be seen again. It just feels as though a lot of the major events in the book have been crammed into a very short space when they should have been better explained at not rushed through.
Overall I’d say this review has been rather negative… but I do have to admit that even if I’m not too keen on the book itself, I do like the storyline. It’s interesting and could have the potential to be a book that I really liked if it was written in a different style.