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Rowena Cory Daniells

The Lost Shimmaron, book 3

ABC Books (2008)

ISBN: 9780733320286

Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack (the review was first published in February 2008)

The Evil Overlord is volume three in a seven volume series of children’s novels. Each novel is written by a different, well known Australian author, and each novel tells a different story of a Shimmaron’s search for rescue. The Shimmaron are energy beings who crash landed on Earth a long time ago. The force of the crash scattered them through time and across different worlds. Disguised in different forms, they call to the children of Amethyst to help them reunite in Lake Shimmer. Only when enough of the Shimmaron have gathered there will they be able to rebuild their ship and escape Earth.

This was a lively and enthusiastic tale of Lincoln and Sam’s efforts to rescue a Shimmaron from a land controlled by an evil overlord. Lincoln and Sam have just moved to Amethyst, and have barely had time to see their new home before they are swept away to another world on their rescue mission. Sam and Lincoln regularly play “Mage Wars” role playing games and initially think this mission will be little different from those games. Read the rest of this entry »

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Margo Lanagan

The Lost Shimmaron, book 2

ABC Books (2007)

ISBN: 978073332079

Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack (this review was first published in January 2008)

The Singing Stones is volume two in a seven volume series of children’s novels. Each novel is written by a different, well-known, Australian author, and each novel tells a different story of a Shimmaron’s search for rescue. The Shimmaron are energy beings who crash landed on Earth a long time ago. The force of the crash scattered them through time and across different worlds. Disguised in different forms, they call to the children of Amethyst to help them reunite in Lake Shimmer. Only when enough of the Shimmaron have gathered there will they be able to rebuild their ship and escape Earth.

In The Singing Stones, Lawrence and Jean are swept away by a willy-willy while fossicking for rocks with their grandfather, and find themselves in the land of Scintillon. The land runs on the power of magical jewels, and parts of it are being devastated by the thefts of jewels by the ruthless Rose twins. Lawrence and Jean slowly come to realise that in order to do what they have been called to Scintillon to do – rescue a Shimmaron who is disguised as a power jewel – they must also defeat the Roses and save Scintillon itself. Read the rest of this entry »

Tansy Rayner Roberts

The Lost Shimmaron, book 1

ABC Books (2007)

ISBN: 9780733320262

Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack (this review was first published in July 2007)

This is a simple and charming children’s book, well pitched for the young readers it’s aimed at. I enjoyed it too, and adults in the mood for a very straightforward story which will only take them a couple of hours to read could do much worse than pick up Seacastle.

Nick has been sent out to find his annoying little brother, Thomas, who’s managed to wander off somewhere just before dinner. Thomas is sitting on the edge of Lake Shimmer, thinking about why he can’t seem to learn to swim well. After Nick finds him, he throws himself into the Lake to test a theory. Nick of course has to leap in to save him, and the next thing the brothers know, they’re in an underwater world. Habitat is plagued by increasingly dangerous seaquakes. Nick and Thomas need both to save Habitat and find a way back to their own world.

This is the first book in a series of (at least) seven, each written by a different Australian author. All are fairly well known in Australia, experienced and talented, and it’s likely the other books in the series will be of similar quality to Seacastle. I suspect each will be a stand-alone story, like this one, tied together by the over-arching theme of the series: when their spaceship crashed on earth, the Shimmaron were thrown into different worlds and times, and were forced to take on different shapes. They’re trying to re-gather in Lake Shimmer, in Australia, as they need to be together to rebuild their spaceship and escape. And only young children can hear their pleas for help. Read the rest of this entry »

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