- Paperback: 220 pages
- Publisher: Echelon Press Publishing (October 18, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590806891
- ISBN-13: 978-1590806890
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#5,613,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #51311 in Children's Fantasy & Magic Books
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Fur-Face Paperback – October 18, 2011
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About the Author
Born in England, Jon Gibbs now lives in the USA with his wife and three children. Founder of the New Jersey Authors' Network (http://www.njauthorsnetwork.com) and FindAWritingGroup.com, he can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on. To find out more about Snowy, and Jon's other writing, visit www.acatofninetales.com or drop by Jon's online-journal. An Englishman in New Jersey is at http://jongibbs.livejournal.com
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One thing I liked is that Billy's parents are neither dead nor neglectful. So often in YA, parents are one or the other, in order to give the protagonist a reason to be on his (or her) own. Billy's folks are busy but still good parents; he has to disobey them to sneak out and help his new friend Snowy, an all black cat who talks but only Billy can hear him. A third character is Razor, a fox who seems like a bad guy at first, until you find out why he's so angry.
And that's another thing I liked: humor! Snowy lives up to his ironic name with snarky dialog and a real attitude. Mr. Tinkles, a very civilized gorilla, has some great lines, too. In a way, this is a buddy movie, as Billy and Snowy work together to try to rescue Razor's missing family. There's a touch of romance, too, as Billy meets a girl his age who's only in town for the summer, and begins to wish she'd be around for longer than that. She's more than just a pretty face, and she becomes Billy's ally in his mission.
The ending is satisfying but not without some tears. No one and nothing lives forever. If you like science fiction, you might like this story.
Why would they love it? Snowy (a black cat, in case you're wondering) is funny and has lots of charm. There is menace, a couple of chilling villains, and a likeable boy protagonist with a smart and pretty girl his age plunging right into danger with him. I also liked that Billy's parents and Carmen's grandma are not fools, and are concerned for the children in their care. As to the plot, I don't want to give too much away, but there is an evil industrialist as well as a really nasty scientist who's experimenting on controlling animals' minds. Luckily, Snowy the cat and his friend (or is it enemy?) Razor are quite smart. What's more, Billy is able to understand the cat when he speaks. Can this trio, with Carmen's help and that of a few other characters, defeat the evil fur-face? You'll have fun finding out.
The book isn't perfect; there are a few typos and errors in grammar and the characters (with the exception of the charming Snowy) could have been fleshed out a bit more. Minor editing would fix these problems and make the book ready for library shelves, where librarians like me could hand it to children. Please, Mr. Gibbs, get this ready to go in paperback, or even hardcover! Young boys of 7 or 8 to about 13 who are looking for a quick, easy read will thank you!
If you love comic books there is a person you might relate to in Billy; quite the normal geek. :)
Though it is a book that could be read by younger children, I think I would have thought it to be too bloody and violent in places for the too young. So I labeled it young adult. Adults will like it, too.
The author has a wonderful blog on Live Journal: [...] with a lot of links to topics aspiring authors can use.