Dahl has got a lot of nerve to be going about dissing witches. Think about it--would you be brave enough insult the witches of this world? ^^
RevealingDahl has got a lot of nerve to be going about dissing witches. Think about it--would you be brave enough insult the witches of this world? ^^
Revealing the secrets of these scabby, bald-headed, clawed, toeless child haters, Dahl risks his life to enlighten his young readers, and to prepare them for the inevitable onslaught of The Witches.
Witches, in Dahl's story, are vicious, dangerous and bloodthirsty creatures who hate children with unmatched fury and whose dearest desire is to wipe them all off the face of the earth. There goal is to do away with one child a week and the worst part is that they look just like ordinary women. But there are certain signs, as our unnamed, seven year-old narrator's grandmother informs us, that can help you tell a real witch from an ordinary lady. And it just so happens that the ladies of Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, staying at the same seaside hotel as our hero and his grandmother, display all the signs.
This original, quirky little book is perfect for readers of all ages. It has just the right amount of scary details to fascinate a child reader without being to creepy to give them nightmares (such as when Grandmamma tells about a little girl she knew who, after a run-in with witches, became a still figure in an oil painting that grew old and eventually faded away) and enough creative and ingenious details to hold an adult reader's interest.
Together they work together to foil the evil scheme of the head witch, and to make the world a witch-free zone.
How can you not love something of so much horror that comes off with such humor and charm?
Title The Witches Author Roald Dahl Reviewed By Purplycookie...more
Despite the amazing powers that many of the people of Lorien possess, the planet was defeated and its natural resources looted by Mogadorians in a matDespite the amazing powers that many of the people of Lorien possess, the planet was defeated and its natural resources looted by Mogadorians in a matter of days. Nine alien children have fled their annihilated homeworld of Lorien and have sought refuge on Earth. Having scattered to the winds, they are being hunted down, one by one, by a separate and malevolent extraterrestrial race from a dying planet, the Mogadorians. Thanks to a quasi-mystical protective charm placed on the Nine, they can only be killed in order (although, my bet is that Number One doesn't regard this charm as all that "protective"). As the book opens, three of the Nine have already been tracked down and murdered. So we come to Number Four.
His named used to be Daniel Jones. It used to be something else before that, and then something else before that, and so on. Ten years on Earth, ten years of hiding and staying always on the move and staying safe and alive... this is the life of Number Four and his guardian and mentor whose name is Henri. Number Four has just collected a new scar circling his right ankle; this is an indicator that another of the Nine has been recently slain. Three scarred rings around his ankle, and so Number Four knows he's next.
The Nine teens are holing up while waiting for their superhuman powers (called Legacies) to develop. These Legacies vary, and there's no guessing as to which abilities a Nine would latch up to. Number Four is at that age when his Legacies would shortly begin to crop up. And they do start cropping up, one by one, and there is a really fun factor in watching our sympathetic alien boy try to cope with each incoming talent.
When Number Four, bearing the name "John Smith," moves to Paradise, Ohio, he runs afoul of the school bully, falls for the most beautiful girl in town, and befriends the local alien conspiracy nerd in short order. There is plenty of great action, but the dialogue is average, as is the character development. I was also disappointed in some of the strong language. The storyline deals with some issues teens are familiar with: first loves, dealing with bullies, trying to fit in. These areas fall flat. The girl is way too sweet and innocent, her attraction to John strange. She deals with the heavy handed stuff too easily.
The writing is nothing special, but the history of Lorien and John's quest to develop his powers is compelling. He becomes much more than a number; he becomes the hero he's supposed to be. Overall, it's a good read and leaves the sequels with an abundance of potential. I look for the following books to get increasingly more serious; after all, we are dealing with the survival of the race of an entire planet here.