Friday, 29 August 2014

Review: Worm Winds of Zanzibar (The Alex Trueman Chronicles #2) by Martin Dukes Synopsis:
Alex Trueman is a boy in danger. His adventures in the strange world of Intersticia were recounted in "Caught in a Moment," the first volume in this trilogy and have brought him to the attention of dark powers amongst the angels. Malcolm, Alex's protector in the angelic realm of Elysium, snatches Alex and his friends away, just in time to prevent him from falling into the clutches of those whose intentions are of the most sinister kind.

In this second volume, Alex finds himself stranded in a different world, a world that resembles nineteenth century East Africa but one that is threatened by a terrible fate. Alex has been told that he has a special power, a power that makes him unique. Caught between the perils of crazed despots and the servants of malevolent angels, menaced by the threat of a cataclysmic natural disaster, Alex must discover the nature of his power before it is too late.

***I received the paperback free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

Martin Dukes proved that he could create an interesting new world in his books that still relate to our own with Intersticia: the moment between moments, and he’s gone and done it again! We’ve moved from Intersticia to Zanzibar which is a universe parallel to the Middle Eastern. It’s incredibly well done, and there was no information dropping as he introduced us to a different world. This has often been a make or break aspect for me in previous novels, and the fact that he delivered it so fluently is a clear reflection of his talents as an author.

I found Zanzibar itself fascinating with its ruler Jalil usually referred to as The Sultan. He’s a very important character to the story as would expect, and in a way you see him develop change as much as the characters we knew from the prequel Caught in a Moment.

This of course includes Alex who has once again got himself stuck in a very sticky situation. He’s also managed to drag along Kelly and Henry, who with no previous involvement in any “weird” circumstances deals with it considerably well. So long as you don’t count the way his sharp tongue gets him into more than simple scratches and scrapes.

Kelly on the other hand, well she adapted a bit too well. I was always rooting for her simply because of the way Alex saw her, so I can’t help resent the way she cast him aside so much in favour for some of the other elements of Zanzibar. Unlike the others (particularly Alex) she grew too comfortable with her temporary surroundings. Meanwhile Alex was the voice of reason as he struggled not just with the surroundings but staying alive. Somewhere along the line she forgot this.

There was of course a lot of times where the fact they were different from the locals was made starting clear, and it never ended well. In Alex’s words “If this was ‘safety’, Alex could hardly imagine what ‘peril’ must be like.”

So in the end, with engaging characters and an enthralling plot Worm Winds of Zanzibar is a definite read for people who enjoyed Caught in a Moment. Looking back I see that you probably could start from this book in the series, but to properly appreciate and simply enjoy it to the full extent, you should read the first.
Favourite Quotes:
“You’re something a bit special,” he said. “I mean real special. That’s what the big issue is. But how special? I guess you’ve got to find that out for yourself.”

“He had not actually been hurled to the earth, but by the time Alex had scrambled awkwardly into the saddle the horse was left in no doubt as to who was in charge. It was not Alex.”

“Oh yes, everything’s just fine and dandy,” he said. “I’ll be glad when this lousy nag’s finished killing me and I can get on with being dead.”

“A man must pick his friends with care but his enemies more carefully still.”

“Life is a blink in the eye of eternity, too brief to be wasted, not even a moment of it.”

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