‘I was freaking out. I don’t know how long it had been there but when I opened my eyes it was staring right at me. It was silent as night, the back d ‘I was freaking out. I don’t know how long it had been there but when I opened my eyes it was staring right at me. It was silent as night, the back dog.’
The Hounded is a novel written by Australian screenwriter Simon Butters and is his debut novel and boy is it a deep, somewhat depressive and serious one. The novel centres around 15 year old Montgomery ‘Monty’ who on his birthday, which none of his parents remembers or celebrates is surprised to find a black dog waiting for him in his bedroom, what’s worse is the dog isn’t leaving not matter what he says to it – it follows him around and whilst eating breakfast he decides to ask it a question only to have the dog respond. A talking dog!?! And if that wasn’t bad enough, no one else seems to be able to hear or even see the dog. Making you wonder what the dog could possibly represent or symbolise.
Now this book is definitely not for the faint hearted, it focuses on issues of mental and physical health such as depression, anorexia, self-half, bulling and self-esteem. Monty is an interesting character, he has frequent ‘off with the fairies’ moments where his mind will go off somewhere and sometimes his gone for ages and his body will try to compensate and continue on without him. Monty’s life, well in the beginning is not a pleasant one, he has little control over the unfortunate and sad situations he faces at home and as a way to feel in control starves himself and enjoys the feeling it brings. Because then he actually gets to feel something. You can’t help but feel sorry for him and really hope something in his life improves and that’s where Eliza Robertson comes in.
There’s only one big thing I didn’t like about this novel and that was the writing style. It is very cleverly written. Too cleverly. I mean this novel is mostly Monty’s inner monologues and we are supposed to believe he is 15 years old kid. Except for when reading the blurb and it being written there, I couldn’t determine his age based off the way he speaks and acts, he thinks very intellectually using words such as perpetually, sullen, impassive stare and ascendancy into adulthood, and yet no indication is given for where this comes from and nor does this continue to when he converses with people. It just bugged me throughout. So younger readers might struggle with the vocab.
Through this introduction of the black dog, you will question whether the dog is there to help support Monty or is there to do him harm.. and will want to find out what Monty means when he says to the mysterious black dog ‘not today.’ ...more
Unfortunately this novel did not cut it for me. I have really loved reading this series, however upon finding out this novel would nRATING: 3 Out Of 5
Unfortunately this novel did not cut it for me. I have really loved reading this series, however upon finding out this novel would not have POV's from Percy and Annabeth I was pretty shattered and now after finishing the novel, I don't feel as if I have closure. In the end of the novel reading about what the characters now plan to do with themselves and getting only a few sentences about Percy and Annabeth was really quite disappointing. Having POV's from the characters Riordan chose, was especially disappointing, considering I never really like Piper, though I'm glad there was no POV from Frank - because in the previous novels they bored the crap out of me. I felt like the character's Riordan picked were odd characters to pick for the last novel; Jason and Reyna I get, but the others... However because they are odd picks maybe that's exactly why Riordan did it.
I had so many problem with this novel, and don't read this bit if you don't want to hear any spoilers. But building up for 5 novels to the awakening of Gaia but then she being quickly and I mean very quickly, and easily destroyed by Leo in that explosion was the biggest anti-climatic scene ever!! But I also find it difficult to believe that after this epic big battle that has been built up for 5 novels that only one character that we know dies.. It a shame that I just couldn't love this novel like the rest.. and that I am left feeling this way. I will miss reading about Percy, who has easily become one of my favourite protagonists ever. But these things must come to an end, and I look forward with much anticipation to Riordan's new Norse mythology series 'The Sword of Summer'...more