Saturday, September 5, 2009
The Cave by Steve McGill is a fantastic, quick read, with plenty of suspense and chills to keep you on the edge of your seat turning pages as you follow along in the journey.
Ian Pratt is a young man who is fascinated by WWI. His own great-great-grandfather Arthur had served in the British army. Great-grandpa, a.k.a. "Gramps", was Arthur's son, whose loss of his father at the age of 5 still haunts him to this day. He honors his father's memory by sharing heroic stories and pictures of Arthur. Other WWI information he shares with Ian whet Ian's appetite for knowledge and adventure.
Ian loves to write, focusing on writing daily in his journal. He often rides his bike home past a cave that is intriguing, yet foreboding at the same time. He keeps promising himself that one day he will have the courage to check it out, but hasn't found it yet.
One night, Ian dreams of a sad, old man, appearing solely as a face, that tries to speak to him. Terrified, Ian goes to sleep downstairs and tries to not give it any more thought. When he awakes, his father decides to take him to Butterfield Ranch, his favorite place for riding bikes and swimming. After he hears about the mysterious history of the ranch, and spies a familiar old face in the shadows, Ian becomes determined to explore both the cave and the ranch, and to combat his fears.
When Ian finally enters into the cave, he enters into a new world, filled with WWI memories and ghosts. He becomes an integral part of a reconnection between the past and the future that is suspenseful, yet touching at the same time. Interspersed between the chapters about Ian's adventures in the cave are the back stories of Arthur and other WWI heroes. Through fiction, McGill also manages to give history lessons that could whet the appetites of young "Ians" who may choose to pick up his book.
The Cave is written for young adults, but is easily enjoyed by adults who enjoy a good story. It has echoes of Steve McGill's literary heroes, Roald Dahl, Stephen King, and Maurice Sendak. McGill seems to have absorbed their talent for suspenseful storytelling that appeals to a variety of ages. One can only hope that he continues to write more books, because he could easily inspire a future writer of his own.
Buy The Cave
Andrea Coventry is a book reviewer for Bookpleasures.com