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The Cockatrice Boys
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The Cockatrice Boys

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  81 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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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
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
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
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
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.
Dark and creepy with an overall oddness. Not bad, just not for every reader.
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.
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.
A silly book, good for a light read.
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Joan Delano 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 celebrating its 50th Anniversary with the publication of three brand new editions of the book and a new AUDIO recorded by her daughter Lizza.


More about Joan Aiken...
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves Chronicles, #1) Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles, #2) Nightbirds on Nantucket (The Wolves Chronicles, #3) Jane Fairfax Arabel's Raven (Arabel and Mortimer, #1)

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