Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review: Gool, by Maurice Gee

Gool, the second book in the Salt Trilogy, is a very different story with a different tone than the first book, Salt. Where the first book was more of an intense survival story, Gool is more of an epic journey book. The pace of Gool was much slower and less intense until the last 30 pages of the book.

The characters are the same, and include the children of Pearl and Hari. Duro, the son of Tilly (who helped Hari and Pearl escape the city in Salt) is also a major character in this book.

As the children and Hari are exploring, Hari is attacked by some unknown being (Gool) who wraps a piece of itself around Hari’s throat and will not let go. Tealeaf tells of the legend of Barni, who destroyed a Gool by killing “the red star” and “the white star.” The children, Xantee and Lo, along with Duro decide to undertake a quest to find Tarl, Hari’s long-lost father who lives in the wilderness with his dogs, so he can help them understand this legend. They believe they need to return to the old Burrows, find the mother Gool, and kill her.

Most of the book is this journey and the adventures with creatures and beings who are dangerous and some that are helpful. The characters' ability to communicate without speaking, and sometimes over great distances, adds interest (and certainly gets them out of some jams!) Eventually the group reaches the old Borrows, the city, and the port. The ending provides some explanation as to the current state of affairs in this part of the world, and does involve an epic and somewhat violent battle, so that part is reminiscent of Salt.

I enjoyed Maurice Gee’s writing and the descriptions of the jungles, mountains, seas, and the people along the way. It was an easy book to read, and everything made sense. I like reading books in a series that are a complete story in themselves. Gool could really be read without reading Salt, but I think knowing the background of these characters adds much to the continuing story.  I’ll be looking forward to reading the third book, The Limping Man, because I want to know what else could possibly be in store for these characters.

Recommended to all teens who enjoy a good adventure or quest, with a great build up of tension at the end. This is a short book, so it would be highly recommended to more reluctant readers.

Published by Orca
Copy obtained from the library
215 pages

Rating: 3/5

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1 comment:

  1. I haven't heard of this series or the author before. That cover is a bit freaky.


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