Sunday, 28 June 2015

Silver Skin by Joan Lennon (reviewer: Karen Bush)

Rab lives in an overcrowded, bland world in the future: travelling back in time to try and earn credits for a place to live, something goes wrong and he finds himself injured and stranded in the past, in a place where he needs to adjust fast to his circumstances.

Yes, this is a time travel book, but it focusses very much on the story and the people - while it features sci-fi and ancient history, it is the tale which matters and which is timeless. So even if you don't much care for historical books or sci-fi, don't be too quick to dismiss this one - give it a try and I bet you'll enjoy it. Don't just add it to the 'to read' list either - buy it and if you can't start reading it right away, stick it right at the top of the pile: I promise you won't regret it.
There's a quote from The Times on the front cover (which is fabulously eye catching) which says "Joan Lennon writes with humour, clarity, sympathy"
Yes, she does - and with a terrific eye for detail too, and at times a slightly different way of describing some of those details - such as the flame 'thrashing' on the candle wick in the opening chapter - but which instantly gives you the perfect image in your mind's eye. She's good at making you care about her characters too, and ever so cleverly teaches us that it's easy to be judgmental, especially when you don't know all the facts ... 
But most importantly of all, Joan Lennon spins a damn good yarn, maintaining the tension to keep you turning the pages, needing to know what happens next the whole way through, and never certain of the eventual outcome. And very satisfyingly, leaving you to work out a few things for yourself. Perfect.