'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 4 September 2010

Review: Sky Horse

Sky Horse, for me, was one of those difficult books to review because I have about as much interest in anything equine as I do in giving up my daily lattè. I also have little interest in the travails of three thirteen-year-olds, yet here I was, in a café, having a lattè, reading Sky Horse to the curious glances of the women at the table next to me - and lo and behold, I was actually enjoying it.

Like much junior and young adult fiction, I was one of those 'adult readers' more than pleasantly hauled up by the reins and actually taken on a fantastic journey... Sure - it ain't Proust, but who wants Proust when you can instead slip into the boots and hearts of three young fillies and their adventures on a Rocky Mountaintop in the shape of a horse's head with its mane flowing wildly?

Set atop the rocky and perilous Mustang Mountain, we meet Becky, Alison and Meg - who are about to spend the summer together on the Becky's parents' ranch. Becky is a reluctant cowgirl, Alison is an upperclass city girl 'dumped' at the ranch by her mother and Meg is an all round nice girl with a deep passion for horses.

When the trio arrive on the mountain, an unexpected storm waylays them enroute to the ranch, and parentless, with an injured cowboy escort, the girls find themselves calling on every ounce of physical and emotional strength to get through the night. An accident with the truck, encounters with bears, a plane crash and an injured pure white horse lend constant drama and intrigue to this first book in the Mustang Mountain series.

I really, really enjoyed Sky Horse. I had to say 'really' twice because I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Author Siamon has a knack for building suspense, adding high drama and verbally illustrating the emotional attitudes and wherewithalls of teen girls. She also injects a delectable romantic spark in to the novel, without in the least bit resorting to tiresome sexual inuendo nor stereotype.

Her three main characters are strong, independent, real and enormously likeable - even the insufferable Alison and her Dressage Champion hoityness. Siamon gives the three girls an interesting friendship dynamic that will have readers nodding, relating and trying to decide who they like best of all.

Not just for pony-lovers, Sky Horse is an adventure that transcends a desire for cantering along a bush trail. Its relationships, adventure and heart will attract readers of all kinds - yes, even the grown up kind.

Other books in this series:

#2 Fire Horse
#3 Night Horse
#4 Wild Horse
#5 Rodeo Horse

Title: Sky Horse
Author: Sharon Siamon
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, A$12.95RRP
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781405243063
For ages: 7-12
Type: Junior Fiction