This Isn’t What It Looks Like

Posted in Books, Reviews by Suganth on April 4, 2011

An interesting children’s novel tale that can stand on its own and do away with its gimmicks

Are authors of children’s books, especially those targeted at pre-teens, so convinced that today’s kids have a serious case of attention deficit disorder? For, what else could be the reason behind an author resorting to presumed ‘fun’ elements (like frequent footnotes, ‘Emergency Drill’ and ‘Intermission’ as in the case of this book) to keep kids hooked? While these are sort-of interesting, wouldn’t it be great if authors keep their young readers hooked just through the simple device of spinning an engaging yarn? Or, are we asking too much? For, Pseudonymous Bosch in This Isn’t What It Looks Like comes up with quite an interesting tale that can stand on its own without these ‘frills’. The plot involves Max-Earnest — yes, it is always Max-Earnest not Max or Earnest (‘two-named wonder’, jokes a character at one point), — who has to bring back Cass (his friend and the secret keeper of their secret society), who has magically journeyed into the past, to the present and with her help stop the evil Lord Pharaoh from knowing the secret. How the duo — one in the past and the other in the present — go about this is told with flamboyance that has become a distinctive feature of fantasy. Bosch has his fun with his word play though at times, he goes overboard with the puns.

Copyright ©2011 Chennai Times

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