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Neversink Hardcover – March 27, 2012
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"Wolverton debuts with a whimsical fantasy that does for Arctic waterfowl what Redwall did for woodland creatures. The author is a natural storyteller, giving readers a charmingly wry, offbeat tale that draws on mythology and intersperses a good amount of information about Arctic wildlife amid the story's humor." (Publishers Weekly)
"[NEVERSINK] reads with the epic ambition of Watership Down, but with laughs . . . the mythos the author has created is both logical and lovely. An intelligent, entertaining fantasy with snappy dialogue and well-developed characters, all designed to keep readers engaged to the final, satisfying page." (Booklist)
"With history and myths reminiscent of Norse sagas, Neversink and its feathered denizens impart lessons in power, leadership and the role of 'stories' in the guise of a fantasy adventure. An unexpected hero and his amusing, devoted helpers entertain and inspire." (Kirkus Reviews)
From the Back Cover
Along the Arctic Circle lies a small island called Neversink, whose jagged cliffs and ice-gouged rocks are home to a colony of odd-looking seabirds called auks, including one Lockley J. Puffin. With their oceanfront views and plentiful supply of fish, the auks have few concerns—few, save for Lockley's two best friends, Egbert and Ruby, a know-it-all walrus and a sharp-tongued hummingbird.
But all of this is about to change. Rozbell, the newly crowned king of the Owl Parliament, is dealing with a famine on the mainland of Tytonia—and he has long had his scheming eyes on the small colony to the north. Now Neversink's independence hangs in the balance. An insurgence of owls will inevitably destroy life as the auks know it—unless Lockley can do something about it.
Barry Wolverton's debut is an epic tale of some very un-epic birds, a fast-paced and funny story of survival, friendship, and fish.
Top customer reviews
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This was a cute story with some enjoyable humor. I thought the pacing was a little slow at points. The details of the owl parliament and how owl law works are a little bit of a drag to the pacing of the story. I did really like the ending and felt the later third of the novel was the strongest part of it.
Lockley and his collection of friends are the unlikely heroes of this book. A puffin, a hummingbird and a walrus aren't what you'd think of as hero material but I really like how they came together in the end with different strengths and weaknesses that made getting rid of the owls possible. The occasional illustrations help to bolster the enjoyable dialog and snappy characters.
This was a great middle reader book but I didn't fall in love with it. 3.5 Stars.
The dissension going on Tytonia was that disease was spreading through the animals that the Owls preyed upon and they would need another food source. That's where the fish smidgen's came in. But, there was that Pesky Treaty of Yore that said the Owls would leave the Auks alone and the Great Grey Owl King was determined to stick to it. But when the greedy Rozbell comes into power, that treaty is thrown out along with Parliament and Rozbell basically becomes a dictator putting a fish tax on everything the Auks collect claiming 1/3 of them as fish smidgens. Unfortunately, pregnant Lucy Puffin is the only one that can make fish smidgen's so she's the only one truly affected by this. The Auks just go along with the tax. This is where the story gets really interesting. You see, Lucy and her husband, Lockley haven't had the best luck with their eggs in the past few years. No offspring so far. They are particularly protective this time. Lockley isn't going to let anything to happen to Lucy and the egg when she births it. But things get complicated when Lockley decides to stand up to Rozbell in defense of his wife. Problem is, Auks usually just kind of take things as they come and don't stand up for themselves so he doesn't get any help. And then Lockley disappears leaving Lucy defenseless. Except for a rather large Walrus with a heart of gold and a rather hyperactive hummingbird named Ruby.
I could go on and tell you the story, but I have to stop there. Why should you read this story? For kids, it's a great lesson about blindly following orders and how to stand up for yourself even if everyone else is following along. It's about how one voice can make a difference. It's also got mythology in it. Forgiveness. And what real friendship is all about. And it's all done through talking animals with a really creative story. Bits of humor are strung throughout even during dangerous times. And, there is always hope and faith. You don't have to read anything into it or you can read into it for a deeper meaning. In either case, it's an enchanting story that held my 12 yr old and myself spellbound until the tear inducing ending. The illustrations are amazing! I didn't think black and white pictures could show such emotion, but looking in Lucy Puffin's eyes I almost cried. I did later.
Mary "adores this book." Her favorite part happens when Lockley and the Great Auk are birdnapped by Rozbel's hench-birds. Her favorite character is Egbert because he uses lots of big words that no one knows. Mary thought that it was a little scary when one of the characters was almost killed. Mary recommends it for children age 7 and up.
Adam, age 7, says: It was good. Rozbel is my favorite character because he was ruthless.
Cindy (the Mom) writes: The book held both kids' attention -- as well as mine. There are several very witty passages clearly intended for adult readers. Mary says that the reading level is third or fourth grade, but I think that it is probably at a fourth or fifth grade reading level.
We highly recommend it and hope that it is the first of a series!
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