Friday, 30 November 2012
The Great Yellow Doom Bird - Jon A. Hunt
Title: The Great Yellow Doom Bird
Author: Jon A. Hunt
“The Great Yellow Doom Bird” by Jon A. Hunt is a rather manic novel that blends science fiction, surreal fantasy, humour into an enjoyable and entertaining story. The story itself is set during the later years of World War II and follows the escapades of Patrick Digby, a young boy who lives in sleepy Florida retirement town with his great uncle. His rather subdued life is thrown upside down when a 7-foot tall, orange haired character called Stultus arrived on a flying sailboat. Stultus takes Patrick on an adventure where he encounters friendly sea monsters, terrible pirates, Eskimos, floating islands and many other strange and wonderful things, including the fabled Great Yellow Doom Bird.
The story is superbly imaginative with Hunt’s rather quirky writing style really adding to surreal and amusing elements. There is no doubt that this rather madcap adventure will appeal to children but I do think some of the finer detail of the plot could be lost on them. In addition its length may be off putting for some but I could still imagine reading it slowly over several weeks with both myself and children enjoying its entertaining charms.
I found the characters to be wonderful, Patrick in particular was charming, polite and I loved seeing his subtle confusion at times as he tried to make sense of what he was seeing. Stultus however does steal the show as his eccentric look is matched by an even more eccentric personality that just jumps off the page; he quite simply had my smiling throughout the novel. The minor characters are also diverse, interesting and detailed to ensure that I was happy no matter who the story was following at the time, be it Patrick’s slightly eccentric elderly neighbours or the cruel and vicious pirates.
Overall, this was a fantastic novel that should appeal to people of all ages with its surreal adventures and colourful characters. The book really did remind of some other eccentric children’s stories such as Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Lemony Snicket so if those types of books amused you then I think you will love this one. Personally, I can only hope that Hunt is planning to create a sequel as there are some open ended elements to this novel that I would love to see resolved in addition to just following the Stultus’ future adventures.
Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Free Reads Challenge