Saturday, 12 February 2011
The Baboons of Dawn - Will Cleveland
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published November 25th 2010 by Book Guild Publishing
Three curious youngsters, an unsolved disappearance dating back to 1976, and a strange stone monkey engraved with Egyptian hieroglyphs-the ingredients for a bizarre and scary journey through history on a quest to get back to the present.
Twelve baboon statues are scattered through the ages, and Maggie, Ben and Zoltan have to find them all. In the process of doing so, they witness some of the most catastrophic events in history, from the Great Fire of London to the destruction of Atlantis, and encounter everyone from Marie Antoinette at the height of the French Revolution to Montezuma at the moment of the bloody Spanish conquest of the Aztecs. In the course of their civilization-hopping adventures, they find their own lives in mortal danger.
The Baboons of Dawn was an excellent book, I mean it truly was. It had so many different elements to it which all wound together perfectly.
First of all, I'm going to start with the history aspect of this book since that is mainly what this novel revolves around. Within this book the children visited various time periods and events in history such as the 'Great fire of London' and 'The French Revolution.' Since there were so many places they visited, I wasn't sure that they would be very accurate, but now having read it I've been proven completley wrong. Cleveland really researched well, and not only that, he set the scene brilliantly so you could really visualize their surroundings.
Next - the characters. I thought Maggie was a strong female protagonist, and took control of the other boys as well as the situation when needed. I really appreciated this quality in her. Ben was a funny sarcastic boy, who pulled many jokes along the way and in general and just lightened the mood in this book, and for me, I find it's really nice to have a character like that. Zoltan was the clever one, and was also the leader since he knew so much about history. All of these characters were enjoyable to read about and I thought that the mix in personalities worked well.
My only issues I had with the book, was the fact that sometimes the baboons seemed a little to easy to get. Sometimes they were hard, but not always. Sometimes the way they appeared was a tad ironic. I felt that the ending wasn't as great as it could have been, although perhaps it is because of the sequel? Anyway, I found it again to be a little too easy. The Empress, a.k.a the bad guy, kept making the same mistakes! Resulting in the escape of the children again.
Apart from those little issues, this book was excellent, it was fast paced, action packed, funny and filled to the brim with history! History lovers, please check this one out, you will not be disappointed!