Children/Young Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)
Teenage twins Rose and Daniel aren’t allowed phones, computers, even a TV, thanks to their conspiracy-obsessed father. But when the people he always thought were after him actually turn up, the twins realise he wasn’t as paranoid as they’d always thought.
With their dad missing and their house burned to the ground, Rose and Daniel find themselves at the centre of a worldwide conspiracy that stretches back through the ages, involving some of the most powerful and mysterious organisations on the planet.
Why them? Why their dad? The answers to these questions and other, darker mysteries lie beyond the doors of an ancient house called Skerryvore.
These mysteries link the twins to a Dark Age king and queen, to a secret society that stands behind the City of London, and an energy source that links some of the world’s most ancient sites into a network that has the power – literally – to change the world.
Skerryvore is the first book in the Dark Net series
Plot/Idea: 6 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 5 out of 10
Character/Execution: 5 out of 10
Overall: 5.75 out of 10
Plot: The novel offers a compelling concept (teenage twins have always dismissed their father’s rejection of cell phones, computers, and TV as conspiracy theory-driven paranoia--until he goes missing) that evolves into a far-reaching and multilayered story.
Prose: Williams’s prose tends toward overwriting, with heavy blocks of exposition that can interfere with momentum.
Originality: Williams integrates a smart and timely thematic element into this sci-fi story by exploring the potential threats posed by overuse of modern technology.
Character Development: While the characters have clear, distinctive roles in the story, they otherwise are lacking in substantive emotional depth.
Date Submitted: June 22, 2018
Technology and legend combine in Williams’s uneven debut techno-thriller, which pits twins against powers unknown on a craggy Scottish island. Daniel and Rose’s father has eschewed all technology and become increasingly paranoid after losing his job with a multinational tech firm. When the family’s London house mysteriously burns down, leaving their father presumed dead, a man named Brendan secrets the siblings away to the isle of Cranagh. There, they encounter the enigmatic Mr. Hubblestone and his equally mystifying house, Skerryvore, with its never-ending library. Soon, the twins, Brendan, and Hubblestone engage in a battle for Skerryvore against sinister forces, and the children learn that they hold the key to their own survival, the survival of the house, and more. Dense exposition hampers the pace, and thinly drawn characters coupled with a lack of resolution may prove frustrating for readers. Still, Williams’s exploration of the perils of relying overmuch on technology is germane to today’s discussions about rapid technological advancement, and the book offers both a haunting atmosphere and a unique and layered plot. Ages 12–up. (BookLife)
Lee Williams has created an amazing adventure in this wonderfully written YA fantasy epic, Skerryvore. Exciting and well done with plenty of twists and turns to capture and hold the reader's interest - I know it did mine! Perfectly paced and full of brilliant characters, the fast-paced action spirals you forward to an exciting climax that pulls almost all the mysterious clues together, leaving you satisfied yet still anxious for the follow-up novel. Lee Williams mixes history, science fiction and everyday social issues along with mythical characters and legends to make Skerryvore the ideal story to keep you reading and wanting to read even more.