The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner

This is an interesting ‘film noir’ type tale.  Set in the 1940’s (in the main) Arnold Rubens builds a memory machine to save his daughter Amaryllis – from what we are not quite sure to start – her own destructive will, from some threat in her childhood that is dimly lurking on the edges of her memory, or from the ever nearer threat of war?  Many of the characters appear to be much less straightforward than we think as we first meet them, and the hero Ezra is all too human, and totally engaging.  The book is peopled with believable characters who deal with an improbable but authentic sci-fi plot, the science is never heavy and the plot moves at a pace, but yet with a sense of mystery so you are completely hooked.  A real sit down and read book – I hope there are more to come from Sally!

A complete contrast was the contemporary novel set in America – Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur.  This is the story of orphan Elise brought up by her uncle and aunt  who has some growing up to do as she starts her middle school, and try to find out who and what she is as she matures.  Eight keys help her find out her history and help her think about her future.  A very engaging read.

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