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The Cockatrice Boys

3.31  ·  Rating Details ·  94 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
An invasion of monsters arrives in England. Soon the Cockatrices have reduced the British Isles to ruins. A brave company is formed for a relief mission and sets out to discover the root of the evil that plagues their land. Adding to the pleasures of the text are the Bosch-inspired illustrations of noted fantasy artist Jason Van Hollander.
Paperback, 221 pages
Published November 1st 1997 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 1993)
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Althea Ann
When I was a kid, I always particularly liked Joan Aiken's books, especially the spooky and grim, 'The Wolves of Willoughby Chase' and the funny 'Arabel and Mortimer' series. Somehow, I never got around to 'The Cockatrice Boys,' (or, looking at her bibliography, a whole bunch of her other books that I guess weren't at my public library!
I also hadn't heard that Aiken passed away last year... a belated R.I.P.!!!

When England is reduced to a near post-apocalyptic state by a sudden plague of monsters
...more
Nigel
Oct 31, 2016 Nigel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-ya
With the UK invaded and the population depleted by swarms of horrible monsters, the surviving populations has been forced to live in hiding. A Cockatrice Corp is formed to battle the menace, travelling the country on an armoured train powered by wind, solar and stellar energy and compressed diesel bricks. Drummer boy Dakin Prestwich is on board, and soon so is his cousin Sauna, along with her mysterious precognitive powers. Travelling first to Manchester and then to Scotland and the heart of the ...more
Katie
Oct 23, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, weirdly-good
The publisher claims this is an adult fantasy but I don't know whether it is or not. The reading level is probably early high school but the story is a bit dark, but then there are some holes in the fabric of the plot that adults might want patched and kids might not notice. For instance, what they eat, and how they get it. And there are good illustrations, which seem to be aimed at kids.

I really like the pictures. Dakin is drawn as a nerd with glasses and bad hair. Sauna has nice hair and a pr
...more
Clarissa
This was okay, I enjoyed it, but but she has written much better books. Monsters attack the British Isles, but not the rest of the world. The monsters are fought by soldiers and two kids on a train traveling through Britain. Her explanation for the origin of the monsters that they somehow came through a hole in the ozone, and were directed by witches, just didn't seem to hang together, and I say this as someone who's willing suspension of disbelief is very powerful. It really felt like there was ...more
Despair Speaking
This scared me as a kid. I found it really creepy although reading it now (I reread it) it's not as creepy as I thought then. But it's good. The descriptions of the monsters were detailed in a not-boring way and (view spoiler) I just wished it happened sooner. The characters themselves were awesome, I loved everybody in the good side, especially the dog! :

The slight downside is how quick things got to a close and t
...more
Kirsten
Mar 15, 2008 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-pre-12-07, own
A charming, strange tale in which Britain is overrun by monsters previously thought to be imaginary. It has a definite sort of "War of the Worlds" flavor, with British soldiers complaining about the quality of the tea, then dashing off to perform heroic acts. It's billed on the jacked as Aiken's "first adult fantasy," but I would also recommend it to teens who like a touch of the bizarre.
Sarah
A solid story about fantastic and bizarre things that happen from a very stiff-upper-lip-cuppatea perspective. If Hitler had used demons instead of bombs, he still would not have won.

One minor flaw? Global warming tie-in seems anachronistic and a hair preachy.
Erin
Dec 01, 2008 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This was an entertaining book, but it ended rather abruptly and with a bit less satisfaction than I'd hoped. I'd like to read Aiken's other work - I read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase about a thousand years ago and may need to revisit it.
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12075
Joan Aiken was a much loved English writer who received the MBE for services to Children's Literature. Her most famous classic, THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE has been in print for over 50 years with a new AUDIO recorded by her daughter Lizza. She was known as a writer of wild fantasy, Gothic novels and unforgettable short stories.
NEW COLLECTION 2016 - The People in The Castle https://www.goodread
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