Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner

Characters in Brian Falkner’s books have saved the world from a deadly virus, discovered the recipe for Coca-Cola, developed super powers, traveled in time, and been chased by black lions.  In Brian’s latest book, Maddy West and the Tongue Taker, an evil witch is stealing people’s ability to talk, and it’s up to Maddy and her friends to stop her.

Maddy West can speak every language in the world. When she is asked to translate some ancient scrolls, Maddy is excited. But the scrolls hide many secrets. Secrets that send Maddy on a wild adventure with a stowaway ninja, a mysterious monkey, a Bulgarian wrestler and a fiendish witch. And soon Maddy finds herself in deadly peril. Does Maddy have what it takes to save herself and her new friends?

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker is an action-packed, magic-filled adventure that has something for everyone.  There’s a girl who can speak every language known to man (some that haven’t been spoken for thousands of years), a very clever monkey, a ninja that can go invisible, a giant Bulgarian wrestler, a witch, ancient scrolls, magic, and lots of spiders and cockroaches. The story is full of twists and turns, so you’re not sure who to trust and whose side of the story to believe.

Maddy is a very cool character.  She has an amazing gift that she uses to help people, especially those who speak another language.  She helps her friend Kazuki and the giant Dimitar by translating for them so that others can understand them or so they can understand the horrible situation that they’re in.  Maddy is also very brave and isn’t afraid to stand up to the dangerous people she meets.  Kazuki is a funny character, who is a loyal friend to Maddy and a ninja who can make himself invisible.  He does his best to protect Maddy, including stowing away on her plane to Bulgaria.  Some of the adults in the story are really annoying, like Maddy’s mum who only seems to be interested in how much money she can make, but there are others, like Dimitar, who are friendly and do all they can to help Maddy.

I love Donovan Bixley’s cover and his illustrations throughout the book.  I’m a huge fan of illustrated novels for children and Donovan’s black and white illustrations add to the excitement and suspense of the story.  I love the way that he has brought Brian’s characters to life, especially Dimitar and Maddy.

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker is a great read for 9+, especially if you liked Brian’s last book, Northwood.  It’s perfect for anyone who likes adventure, mystery and magical stories.  Get it now from your library or bookshop.

4 out of 5 stars

You can enter my competition to win 1 of 3 copies of Maddy West and the Tongue Taker here on the blog.

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Filed under adventure, books, children, children's fiction, fantasy, mystery, New Zealand

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