sevenstories’ #CBR4 Review #43: Skellig by David Almond
“Michael was looking forward to moving house. It was all going to be wonderful. But now his baby sister’s ill, his parents are frantic and Doctor Death has come to call. Michael feels helpless. Then he steps into the crumbling garage… What is this thing beneath the spiders’ webs and dead flies? A human being, or a strange kind of beast never seen before? The only person Michael can confide in is Mina. Together, they carry the creature out into the light, and Michael’s world changes forever…”
First Line: “I found him in the garage on a Sunday afternoon.”
Why I read it: After reading My Name is Mina, the recently released prequel, I wanted to reread this. I read it when I was much younger and didn’t really like it but I loved My Name is Mina and wanted to see if my opinion had changed, reading it as an adult.
Who I would recommend it to: If you’re after a quick read with depth and you don’t mind unsolved problems and unanswered questions.
Whilst I much preferred Skellig second time round, I can’t say it is up there as a classic for me, which it is often described as. Indeed, it won the Carnegie award when it was first published which is high praise indeed. So I didn’t like this the first time I read it, which would have been when I was around 12 or 13 but I can’t really remember any specifics about why I didn’t like it but I have grown up knowing I didn’t like it, criticising it to English teachers and not recommending it to students. I now feel bad about that. Although to me it is a good read, it didn’t transcend any boundaries for me and whilst it had some lovely moments, it is nowhere near my list of favourites. My Name is Mina is a far superior book in my opinion, although it obviously does build on themes and ideas that were first created here. I can see why this won Carnegie, even if it isn’t to my particular taste, as it is unique and carefully written, something that is all too unusual in the children’s fiction market.