Wednesday 14 September 2011

REVIEW - 'The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight' (Harper Collins, 2010)

A lonely teenager, Chap, takes on the identity of a missing boy, Cassiel Roadnight, attempting to satisfy his desire to have the family he has always dreamed of. Is this a case of 'be careful what you wish for?'

This is a great premise and the plot here more than lives up to the promise in the brief synopsis. I really can't tell you too much about it as this would make me a major spoiler spoil-sport, so I'll attempt to keep my trap shut and restrain my keyboard fingers.

What I CAN tell you is this - Ms. Valentine stays very true to the voice of a lonesome, sixteen-year-old drifter, struggling to come to terms with the mysteries of his own past, conflicted through his growing sense of danger of the strange situation he has found himself in and his reluctance to leave his new 'family'.

I love a good gradual reveal and this did not disappoint. Even if you do guess at some of the plot developments before they happen, there are still some genuine surprises (for me, anyway - you may be smarter and more perceptive).

I did feel the first half was too slow, maybe the reveal was just a bit too gradual. The plot starts to really pick up some pace in the last third, maybe to the detriment of some of the supporting characters - the introduction of an ally and confidant in Floyd is great for the plot, but the reasons for his involvement are never adequately explained, and he is accompanied by some pretty MAHOOSIVE, gaping plot holes that I couldn't really overlook.

This has intrigued me enough to examine the rest of Valentine's back catalogue, and that's a good a recommendation as any.


  1. This is one of the few Jenny Valentine books I haven't read, and I'm dying to get it after reading your great review! Thanks.

  2. I love Jenny Valentine, and I do hope that you pick up her other books. After I read Broken Soup, I was inspired to start writing again. I'm currently reading this book at the moment, so I only sort of skimmed your review..