Posted by Guest Reviewer Melanie
Published Date: April 12th, 2012
Finished Date: April 5th, 2012
Source: From Author For Review
The Blurb from Goodreads: The life of a puppet master is never ordinary. Oliver Deere knew this when he ran away from home to take up the trade of puppetry, but he had no idea just how much his life would change. After his puppets come to life and flee town, Oliver meets up with a masked girl who hides a mysterious past. As they travel together in search for Oliver's lost puppets, they find that the line between puppet and master is becoming much less clear - and much more deadly. When Oliver and his companion enter the strange world of The Parade, they begin to realise that their journey will lead them to discover the truth behind a dangerous villain's path, and in the end, discover more about each other.
The Review: I really, really liked this book, it was just awesome. . .
Sophie- locked away for ten years from the age of nine because she caught an illness and became so hideously ugly that her step mother had no choice but to keep her prisoner to ‘protect’ her from the outside world.
Oliver – A talented puppeteer who has created himself a family, a family of puppets that he can’t bear to share and so leads a solitary life making his special puppets from time to time using the wood from ‘the tree of life’.
Both Sophie & Oliver alone and lonely, see a shooting star and wish upon it at the same time. With Oliver wishing that his puppet family could be alive, they become just that but they resent him for keeping them prisoner in his shop and after tying him up, they escape and run away. At the same time Sophie wishes for freedom from her prison and her wish comes true also, so she grabs a mask- to protect others from her ugliness- and in her escape stumbles upon the escaped puppets and a trussed up Oliver giving chase. After helping Oliver out of his binds and with no idea what to do next she decides to help him locate his puppets. That is when the real adventure begins, as they hop on a train and travel through mysterious towns in search of Oliver’s puppets. As they travel from town to town however, they begin to realise that everything is not as it appears to be and something more sinister may be at work. What they really want to do is find the puppets and get the hell out but will that be possible once they join ‘the parade’ and just who is running the show?
What a wonderful book this was, I can’t even categorise it but here goes - it was a bit fantasy, a whole lot of adventure with a sprinkling of romance all wrapped up in a lovely package. .
Sophie and Oliver were really sweet, likeable characters. Sophie- with no self-confidence, hiding behind her mask because of her ugliness, totally unsure of herself but willing and brave enough to help Oliver in his search. Oliver- determined to get his puppets back, showing a parental side to him with regards to the puppets and even though they have rejected him, he still has their safety and best interests at heart. They learn through each other as they travel and through Sophie, Oliver begins to learn that maybe he didn’t do the right thing by keeping his puppets isolated. The puppets themselves were really fun and imaginative; they each have a title and a fitting personality to match which corresponds to how they might be found. So, I’m not going to mention them in detail, it will be better to discover them for your-selves but know that these aren’t your run of the mill puppets.
The plot was great – as they travel from town to town we are introduced to some really unique places. There are no two alike and they are filled with unique people, highly imaginative writing at play here and I can honestly say that I haven’t read anything like this before. I loved how it became more sinister as the plot went along but that it was counter balanced with a blossoming love and affection and sense of togetherness. The pacing was also great for me because there was always something happening and places, people and discoveries to be found as they travelled – so no lulls in the book, it flowed really well. I also loved that as it was concluding, some of the more difficult pieces to the puzzle were explained clearly and definitively rather than being left vague. So you are left in no doubt as to what has really occurred.
I just have one more to rant about it and then I’m done . . . . really.
I was 75% through this book when it suddenly hit me – This book would make a PERFECT Tim Burton movie, seriously. . .I want him to read this and make it because in my opinion he is the only man to do it justice by bringing to life this fantastical world that the author has created which is so imaginative and stunning that it deserves some visualisation. It reminds me of a modern day Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz – books that take you to whole new world and immerses you in an adventure as they try to make it back home. I know for definite that I would watch it. So, if you like the sound of that get reading it! You will not be disappointed.
PS. If I had a way of contacting Tim Burton, he would sooooo be getting bombarded with requests to read this. 4.5 stars!