Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Review: Small-Minded Giants by Oisin McGann

'If you mess with the Machine, the Clockworkers will come for you."

The Clockworkers are a rumour, a myth; but after he and his class witness a major crane accident, and his life takes a dramatic turn for the worse, Solomon Wheat begins to see a new side to the city of Ash Harbour. His father, Gregor, has gone missing, and is accused of murder. As Sol begins to search for his father, he finds himself pursued by mobsters trying to collect on Gregor's gambling debts. The police are watching him, and so are the Clockworkers; a shadowy organisation founded to protect the operation of the Machine. For some reason, they have decided that his father is a threat... and that makes him one too. Sol enlists the help of Cleo, a girl from his class, and his teacher, Ana, in deciphering the mystery of his father's disappearance.
(summary from the webiste of Oisin McGann)

Small-Minded Giants is published by Harper Collins in the United States as Daylight Runner.

Click here to read an exerpt from the book. 

My thoughts...This was a thought provoking novel that had me thinking "what if" the whole time I read it.  With all the environmental issues we are faced with on a daily basis, "what if" the worst case scenario happened and we were forced to live in a domed city beneath a frozen world?  Those are the living conditions that make up the setting of this story.  The author, Oisin McGann does a brilliant job of setting the scene.  I found myself shuddering on several occasions imagining the living conditions, the recycled air and the constraints these people experienced daily. 

The story is told from several characters point of view.  First, Sol is a young boy who lost his mother and sister in an accident and is now dealing with the mysterious disappearance of his father.  He is a quiet, observant teen who likes to take out his frustrations in the boxing ring.  I liked his character and could see significant growth by the end of the book.  The other two characters were his friend Chloe and his teacher Anna.  Their POV's keep the story flowing and made it more interesting. 

Overall I enjoyed the story line.  I think this would be a good book for any age, but I think it would especially appeal to an adolescent boy.  There is a fair amount of violence with some minor gore, there is very little romance-not too girly and it is full of action scenes.  There are several mysteries to figure out as you try to decide who  can be trusted and who not.

As for cons, it took me a while to get into the book.  The last 100 pages were great and I read the end quickly.  The beginning did a great job of setting up the story, but the middle just didn't grab me like I thought it would.  For me, it picked up when the main character Sol had more interactions with the other characters.  However I am glad I read it and I would recommend it to young readers who enjoy Science Fiction novels. 

For more information on Oisin McGann and his books, please visit his website

If you enjoyed this book, you may also like...
1. The House of the Scorpoin by Nancy Farmer
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. The Wisdom of Dead Men by Oisin McGann

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for my review. 



Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review!

Becky said...

My sister gave this to me for my birthday but I haven't got around to reading it yet. From your review I get the feeling that I will enjoy it.

Seak said...

Nice review, I like lots of action so this might be for me. I guess I'll have to add it to the pile that's getting to the point I can't see over it any more. :)


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

I like the related links, the full disclosure and your review in general. Thanks for sharing!

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