A wonderfully enchanting debut...
Here’s a storyline for you: man meets woman, falls in love, produces twin babies. Man goes over to the dark side, woman dies and the twins are separated. Neither twin knows of the others existence or the identity of their biological father. After a period of time has elapsed, twins are reunited by tragedy and necessity. The boy twin has an unnatural, mystical gift; whilst the girl twin is a bit posh and yet still a hands-on kind of gal. Together they have to fight against an evil that threatens to consume their world. Sound familiar? I suppose the old adage: if it ain’t broke; don’t fix it, could be applied here – and why not? After all, Star Wars did alright out of it.
Seriously though, there is a little more to Mortlock than a resemblance to an all-time cult film series; including mystically mutated crows, a blood-red flower with extraordinary powers, grisly murders, an eerie circus of the dead and the murky, smoggy depths of Victorian London. Mortlock is definitely a dark, grim tale that explores the crazed obsession of mankind for immortality and power; but it is also a story of hope and love, courage and daring. Josie and Alfie (the twins) are wonderfully refreshing central characters, having oddities, flaws and being blissfully average in the looks department. In fact, the author seems to go to great lengths to portray them as ordinary children, despite their exceptionally extraordinary abilities.
As debut novel go, there is plenty to like about Mortlock. It has intrigue, pace, a wonderful array of characters and offers children an excellent insight into Victorian culture, dress and day-to-day living. We expect great things from Mayhew’s second novel.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012