Book Review: ‘Pillage’ by Obert Skye

Posted: 31 March 2011 in Book reviews
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Just over 24 hours after I had finished reading ‘Anna Karenina’, I had finished reading another book: ‘Pillage’ by Obert Skye. Having taken just over 3 months to read ‘Anna Karenina’, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that I finished another book so quickly, but finishing a book quickly is not always a good thing.

‘Pillage’ is the first book in Skye newest series called ‘The Pillagy.’ The story revolves around the Pillage clan and their ability to grow plants. The clan hails from Scotland but after was later ran out where they then lived on the Isle of Man. They later returned to the mainland. From there they migrated to America, but where is not really revealed. This history is revealed to the reader through a series of entries from The Grim Knot, a journal found by the protagonist Beck, at the end of each chapter.

Beck is a trouble-making child who has never seemed to have an easy life. He has never known his dad and him mom has slowly become mad to the point that she dies at the end of the first chapter. He is then sent to live with a mysterious, unknown uncle in Kingsplot, location unknown. It is simply the last stop on a train from the original unknown location. On the way he meets Kate and then befriends Milo, a kid who lives close to his uncles manor.

Shortly after he arrives there, he begins to notice strange happenings. Plants move, ivy defends him and salad savagely attack his attackers. Mixed with the ominous warnings to not venture behind the house, Beck discovers his wondrous ability to command plants and ultimately, and unknowingly, uses this gift to wake up eight dragons.

I’m going to stop there as I do not want to give away the story, which in some senses surprised me. The story is quite intriguing. But I have a couple issues with the book.

Despite how great the story is, I hate not knowing where the scenes take place. True, you can envision the location and the layout of the place, but on a broader scale, it is a random city somewhere. The only way you know that it is located in America is because of the random journal entries at the end of the chapters and even then it isn’t until towards the end of the book that you find that out. The setting feels New England but at the same time seems European.

The second thing that bothers me is the writing. It sadly seems more juvenile than ‘Leven Thumps’ did. I was driven crazy at times by the silliness of some of the scenes and his descriptions while at the same time intrigued by the overall story and the twists that came at the end. I just wish that the writing was a little tighter and not so simple. For a 312 page book, I shouldn’t have been able to breeze through it so easily.

But being that it is teen fiction, it would work fine for the younger generation. With the simpler writing, it is not a difficult read and teens would most likely be able to relate. Especially with the strange rantings of the adults then never seem to make sense to Beck.

Overall I enjoyed the book. Right now I am reading the second book and taking my time as not to finish it all in one sitting. Either way, I shall be reporting on it soon 😉

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