As a YA novel The Invaders
is intelligent, entertaining and top of its class. As a novel to recommend for anyone looking for a purely entertaining read it's very worthwhile. John Flanagan, author of the brilliant Rangers Apprentice series (see The Ruins of Gorlan one which both I, my mother and my sister - the readers in our house - love) continues the adventures of his young Skandian sailors as they set out to retrieve an artefact lost on their watch and hence their honour.
John Flanagan writes in a manner that is particularly appealing to me personally. I think it has something to do with the mixture of classier words and terms and his easy-going style: he certainly has got the laid-back Australian manner down in his writing. I suspect if I were to compare this to other average YA novels however that the lexicon would prove more advanced, that the language would prove more sophisticated in its elegant construction than those. In fact the wonder of this novel is that I know many younger children who can read these novels and still get plenty out of them. It's remarkable to think that the language in this is perhaps far more advanced than The Hunger Games
. Likely only content at this point would separate a ten year old from reading The Hunger Games
over this for its simplicity. Although that said The Invaders
does feature pirates torturing a captive (although only the after effects are described) and far more deaths than The Hunger Games
. Although of course the difference is that in this all the deaths are typically villainous pirates who deserve to die for their evil misdeeds.
On the whole this is a YA novel that appears unassuming but is a very entertaining read. In fact I'd rate John Flanagan's entire writing collection (Rangers Apprentice and Brotherband series combined) as some of the finest in YA and modern children's writing in general. If you have ten year-olds to 18 year-olds (particularly boys, but my sister proves that girls will like these) who are looking for a fun fantasy read that's humorous, less taxing than The Hobbit
but in the same spirit of medieval style adventure then have a look at these books.