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The Griffin Cryer (Griffin Riders Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 135 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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In the first of series I pointed out the name that was given to Balkind's rider (Nothing! But pronounced Ben). The Griffin was named after the sun, viz. Balkind. In an irony of ironies I likened him to a wilful, playful puppy. The funny thing is that Frankie has a dog named Ballikinny Lad ( Actually it is her brother, Michael's dog, but thereby hangs a long story!). Like Balkind the Labrador named Bally for short, is also a playful, wilful dog, prone to running off, doing his own thing.
That is what happened one exasperating evening when Frankie went searching for Bally calling out his name. And Balkind answered! With his bemused rider along for a most unwilling and unusual ride of his life.
I love these characters, though that of the baddy and some of Frankie's teachers are characterised somewhat one dimensional. Nevertheless, this minor hiccup is but a blip in the greater warm story unfolding of two characters from different worlds meeting and the events that then follow.
The Griffin Boy from the other book again plays a part in this installment. The Heroine of this book has friends and even a boyfriend. However, these supporting characters have little depth. Part of the reason, I'm sure, is because this book is only 135 pages. Can't do a whole lot of character development with that short of length. Which is too bad, really.
This book, unlike the other, takes place mainly in our modern day world. The ending was satisfying, and will lead a reader on to the next book. The bullying, teen relationships, school, and trials of a young girl should appeal to a YA reader.
The pacing towards the middle dragged a little, and I found the character of Ford to be more of a plot device than a person (he showed some signs of humor, but we spent so little time with him for the role he purportedly played in Frankie's life, that he felt like cardboard). Similarly, I had a hard time believing in the depth and reality of Frankie's friendships with various other girls in her class, and how they changed.
However, the emotional climax of this book was well done, requiring Frankie to step up and face her fears and rescue someone on her own. While there is a separate climax to resolve a different thread of the story, the emotional climax is the one that made this book for me.
"The Griffin Cryer" was a good book. Frankie is a fun character who grows exponentially within the scope of the story-line. There are certain elements that the reader can anticipate the end result from introduction but the journey is the point and Hughes gives us a compelling progression. Frankie has a good parent and step-parent that are willing to stand beside her though they have their own worries and problems. She has friends that she never realized she had ... and a boy she never thought she could have.
The baddies are a bit brutal in this novel though no more so than in the Harry Potter series (though in a vastly different way). If I were to give this novel to my 11-year-old to read (and we have talked about her reading it), I'd want to discuss the baddies with her. I think the level of violence is suitably appropriate for someone 13+ when children understand that this is just a novel and that sometimes people are just horrible jerks but this is fiction so rarely to the extent we see in the work. That said the baddies, though exceptionally well-written, are not the point of the story. The point seems to be a beautiful progression within Frankie herself.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm not going to bother getting the next book