Saturday, February 4, 2012

Red Maple Mini Reviews - 3# Fanatics (and Stones)

by William Bell
Fanatics is on this year's Red Maple list, but as it is a sequel to Stones, I decided to read and review both books together.

Garnet Havelock has never been good at school, and now, in his final year of high school, he's just waiting to get out and go into the carpentry business. However, during a class debate about love at first sight, he meets Raphaella and falls in love. Together, they discover the existence of a ghost named Hannah, stoned to death 150 years ago because of the colour of her skin and doomed to haunt a trailer park until she has brought her murderers to justice.

In the next book, Fanatics, Garnet, while trying to find a place to set up his shop, meets Ms. Stoppini and strikes a deal to rent the coach house on the estate of the late Professor Corbizzi. In exchange, he must repair the damage to the professor's library and study. However, while cleaning up the library, he finds a secret manuscript titled 'Fanatics' that results in the unveiling of an old problem surrounding theocracy. At the same time, Garnet accidentally witnesses what he thinks is a gang of terrorists.

One thing that was very interesting was how these two problems intertwined and ended up being the same message about how killing people in the name of a religion is wrong. It applied the same problem to modern and past events and presented the solution in a persuasive way that anyone could understand.

Something else that I found with both books was that they covered a lot of topics. You don't find many books that have romance, action, terrorists, social justice, history, and paranormal activities. The characters were also well-rounded. Bell vividly portrayed their unique personalities and throughout the stories, there was much character development. Overall, I thought this was a fantastic book and am hoping that a third will come out next year. However, I would recommend reading Stones before reading Fanatics.

Reviewed by Kate