Tuesday 9 November 2010

REVOLVER by Marcus Sedgwick

1910. A cabin north of the Arctic Circle. Fifteen-year-old Sig Andersson is alone. Alone, except for the corpse of his father, who died earlier that day after falling through a weak spot on the ice-covered lake. His sister, Anna, and step-mother, Nadya, have gone to the local town for help.

Then comes a knock at the door. It’s a man, the flash of a revolver’s butt at his hip, and a mean glare in his eyes. Sig has never seen him before but Wolff claims to have unfinished business with his father. As Sig gradually learns the awful truth about Wolff’s connection to his father, his thoughts are drawn to a certain box hidden on a shelf in the storeroom, in which lies his father’s prized possession – a revolver. When Anna returns alone, and Wolff begins to close in, Sig’s choice is pulled into sharp focus. Should he use the gun, or not?

After reading and really enjoying WHITE CROW, I was very excited about reading other Marcus Sedgwick books. And thanks to Hachette Children's Books, I now have three on my bookshelf. Yay. :)

I was actually looking at them last night and decided to start reading this one--just to get a taste of it, see what the first chapter was like. Before I realised it, I was about twenty pages away from finishing it. Seriously, it was that good.

The book starts in 1910, and focuses on Sig Andersson. He's a teenage boy who lives near the Artic Circle with his father, step-mother (Nadya), and sister (Anna). They live a simple existence in an isolated cabin, but one day his life is turned upside down when he finds the dead body of his father on the ice. With the help of Nadya and Anna, the three of them get the corpse off the ice and into their cabin.

When the two females go off to get help, Sig sits in the empty cabin by himself. Watching, waiting, and trying to imagine how his father had gotten himself into a situation that killed him. He can't understand why he took the chance, when they all know better. As he thinks the day away, a strange man comes to the door. He's of giant stature, calls himself Wolff, and claims to have some business with Sig's father, Einar. The creepy man refuses to leave, and even pushes himself inside the cabin.

After Wolff tells Sig that Einar stole something from him and now that he's dead Sig must deal with it, a horrifying and tense experience follows. One that will test Sig's memory and make him remember the lessons his father taught him about the Colt that he treasured for years.

We also get a glimpse of the past and see things through Einar's point of view back in 1899. I loved finding out about what happened in the secluded and harsh town of Nome, where everything changed forever after Einar was given the job of Assay Clerk (tests gold).

Revolver was an interesting and fast-paced book that kept me hanging at the edge of my seat. The tension was amazing, and kept mounting and mounting until I just had to know how things were going to end between Sig and Wolff. The ending didn't disappoint, and also revealed a mystery that popped up along the way. This was an amazing thriller. 

This is a book filled with twists, turns, and a past that catches up with a man who's left his son to deal with it. Oh, and the isolation and snow set a wonderfully creepy and atmospheric setting, too. Loved it!

Where's the next Marcus Sedgwick book? That's right, on my bookshelf. ;)

Revolver, July 2010, ISBN 9781444000054, Orion Children's Books

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