Reviewed by Julie Leousis
The Brockenspectre is a teen book with 164 pages and good size type which made it a definite favourite of my children. The illustrated cover was simple but appealing to the reader and stands out on the book shelf.
The story follows the life of a young boy called Tomas, his father Niklas and their family.
Tomas is proud of his father and wants to please him, though his father seems more at home in the mountains than at home with his family. Niklas tells his son tales of the Brockenspectre, a mysterious creature in the mountains that follows but is rarely seen by climbers. The stories captivate Tomas and he thinks about this often. The writer portrays a simple and poor life for the family, when Niklas isn’t working the family struggle for money. The childlike need to please his father is shown throughout the story. When Tomas loses his father he becomes the head of the house and feels the need to search for his father.
Tomas’ character shows he is a vulnerable boy wanting his father home and his approval.
The story is easy to read – we read in one sitting and didn’t want to stop until it was concluded. The mystery of the Brockenspectre creates tensions and fear for the character as does the danger of the mountains. The poem like pages throughout the book brings thoughtfulness to the reader and helps to create the atmosphere. The illustrations are simple and in black and white but these are effective and the simplicity adds to the character of the book.
The book is a definite read for teens both boys and girls and was great for a light read. The short and simplistic nature of the book coupled with character ensure the reader continues to the end.
I give this book 4 out of 5 and a definite recommendation to read.
RRP: £12.99 (Hardback) / £6.99 (Paperback)
Available to buy from Random House here.