Title: Call Down Thunder
Author: Daniel Finn
Publication date: July 5, 2012
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Length: 320 pages
Age group: Young Adult
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Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository
From the author of the critically acclaimed Two Good Thieves comes another gripping, fast-paced and vividly rendered story of bravery, corruption and survival.
Reve and his sister Mi are alone in the world – their father is dead and their mother has abandoned them. Reve has to learn to be a man – to fight, to fish, to live. He must protect Mi from the rest of the world; she is special, hears voices, can see things. She can call down thunder. Travelling to the big city to search for their mother, Reve and Mi get sucked into the squalid underworld of the sprawling barrio, where danger lurks around every corner, and each day is a fight for survival.
I started Call Down Thunder expecting to read an action-filled mystery written for the young adult generation but about 40 pages in I realised this was going to be something entirely different. All in all, this book for me was like a roller coaster ride. My initial reaction was that this was not my cup of tea, after all. I found the way people talked irritating, and the story quite slow-paced and I was starting to feel discouraged. But since I’m patient and don’t like to quit, I kept on reading and how glad I am for that! Because once I got used to how people talk and got to know them a little bit better, I couldn’t put the book down.
As I mentioned, if you’re looking for a gut-wrenching action novel you’ll be just as surprised as I initially was. The first half of the story introduces us to Reve’s life and what he has to go through every single day to protect himself and Mi. We get to know Tomas, who looked after them after their father died and their mother left the village, and all their enemies. For Reve and Mi might be young, but regular fights and hostility are not unknown to them. I found this bit quite long-winded and slow but once the siblings leave the village in order to track down their mother, I started to really enjoy the story. Reve is a brilliant character who changes a lot by the end of the story. I love his courage, his loyalty and the fact that he’s always there to protect Mi or people who need help – and he’s only a kid. I love how he cling to his loved ones but eventually, he learns how to let go.
All in all, I enjoyed this book. If you like young adult fiction and you’re patient enough, I think you’ll enjoy it too. It might take a while for you to get into the story but it’ll be worth it in the end. It’s a touching novel about trust, loyalty, courage and family, spiced up with mysteries and great character development.
“The rest of the fishing boats were far out, nailed to the horizon. It was usually the way, him fishing on his own like this. It was Tomas’s boat, and not every fisherman was Tomas’s friend. Reve didn’t mind one way or the other. In fact he liked to fish alone. “