What does a cockatrice enjoy most for dinner? Anyone it can find.So the alarmed inhabitants of England discover when a plague of monsters-known as cockatrices-invade their country and begin gobbling them up. They must be stopped! A plucky band of survivors dubbed the Cockatrice Corps- including youngsters Dakin and Sauna-decide to fight back. But how? A rollicking adventurWhat does a cockatrice enjoy most for dinner? Anyone it can find.So the alarmed inhabitants of England discover when a plague of monsters-known as cockatrices-invade their country and begin gobbling them up. They must be stopped! A plucky band of survivors dubbed the Cockatrice Corps- including youngsters Dakin and Sauna-decide to fight back. But how? A rollicking adventure filled with breathtaking twists and turns, The Cockatrice Boys is Joan Aiken at her comic best....
|Title||:||The Cockatrice Boys|
|Number of Pages||:||224 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Cockatrice Boys Reviews
Usually I love Aiken's books, but this left me cold. The big problem -- the unrelenting Boys Town aspect of the story. The deliberate and foregrounded misogyny against the (very) few female characters was unpleasant. And this is a book that probably passes the Bechdel test (I'm not going back to check, because ick). The story focuses on a train heading across England, to fight the monsters who have taken over. And while it is a train for males only, there are two female characters, one of whom is the cook, the other of whom is a little girl. Given that there is at least one scene with these as the only two in the kitchen, there was at least a conversation between them. Whether it was about The Men, I don't remember.I'm not sure if this was deliberately written as so horrible. But whatever the message was that it the author was going for has completely missed me. I finished it. Because I'm an obsessive story completer. Because maybe it got better. Because maybe the explanation for the world would make up for everything else. And I wish I hadn't.
When I was a kid, I always particularly liked Joan Aiken's books, especially the spooky and grim, 'The Wolves of Willoughby Chase' and the funny 'Arabel and Mortimer' series. Somehow, I never got around to 'The Cockatrice Boys,' (or, looking at her bibliography, a whole bunch of her other books that I guess weren't at my public library!I also hadn't heard that Aiken passed away last year... a belated R.I.P.!!!When England is reduced to a near post-apocalyptic state by a sudden plague of monsters, the military builds a great train to attempt to combat the vicious creatures. Laying track up north, and getting decimated by assorted grotesques at every step of the way, they make their way closer to what may be the source of the problem... Our heroes are young drummer boy Dakin Prestwich and his cousin Sauna, an orphan who's spent the last few years tied up at her aunt's house so that she doesn't break the china. These two kids may be the last best hope of England...Deftly melds the dark and the funny.... mixing classic legends of England with superstitions regarding Manchester United, etc... Imagine Terry Pratchett with a gothic horror feel...
With the UK invaded and the population depleted by swarms of horrible monsters, the surviving populations has been forced to live in hiding. A Cockatrice Corp is formed to battle the menace, travelling the country on an armoured train powered by wind, solar and stellar energy and compressed diesel bricks. Drummer boy Dakin Prestwich is on board, and soon so is his cousin Sauna, along with her mysterious precognitive powers. Travelling first to Manchester and then to Scotland and the heart of the outbreak, fighting monsters every step of the way, can the Corp defeat the monsters once and for all?A brilliantly demented book that manages to be hilariously funny even as characters get devoured and vanished and turned to stone by the score. The premise is amazing, though, and the whole thing is fantastically entertaining.
The publisher claims this is an adult fantasy but I don't know whether it is or not. The reading level is probably early high school but the story is a bit dark, but then there are some holes in the fabric of the plot that adults might want patched and kids might not notice. For instance, what they eat, and how they get it. And there are good illustrations, which seem to be aimed at kids. I really like the pictures. Dakin is drawn as a nerd with glasses and bad hair. Sauna has nice hair and a prominent nose, and both of them look lively enough to step off the page and into your room. I like the way everybody talks. And I like how much I got to like the characters.The only other Aiken I can recall reading is The Faithless Lollybird, a collection of short stories that the Carnegie Public Library shelved in the adult section. That one was weirdly good as well.
This was okay, I enjoyed it, but but she has written much better books. Monsters attack the British Isles, but not the rest of the world. The monsters are fought by soldiers and two kids on a train traveling through Britain. Her explanation for the origin of the monsters that they somehow came through a hole in the ozone, and were directed by witches, just didn't seem to hang together, and I say this as someone who's willing suspension of disbelief is very powerful. It really felt like there was no reason to assume that all the monsters had been eradicated at the end, and yet all the characters did just that. It ended with a strong feeling that there should be another book after it. Still it was a fun read, with dome funny scenes.
This scared me as a kid. I found it really creepy although reading it now (I reread it) it's not as creepy as I thought then. But it's good. The descriptions of the monsters were detailed in a not-boring way and (view spoiler)[the bad guys, save for the main bad guy, got their just desserts. (hide spoiler)] I just wished it happened sooner. The characters themselves were awesome, I loved everybody in the good side, especially the dog! :The slight downside is how quick things got to a close and the fact that some of the characters weren't mentioned enough to make me understand them fully. Still, it's something I definitely recommend!
A charming, strange tale in which Britain is overrun by monsters previously thought to be imaginary. It has a definite sort of "War of the Worlds" flavor, with British soldiers complaining about the quality of the tea, then dashing off to perform heroic acts. It's billed on the jacked as Aiken's "first adult fantasy," but I would also recommend it to teens who like a touch of the bizarre.
A solid story about fantastic and bizarre things that happen from a very stiff-upper-lip-cuppatea perspective. If Hitler had used demons instead of bombs, he still would not have won.One minor flaw? Global warming tie-in seems anachronistic and a hair preachy.
This was an entertaining book, but it ended rather abruptly and with a bit less satisfaction than I'd hoped. I'd like to read Aiken's other work - I read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase about a thousand years ago and may need to revisit it.