Friday, July 5, 2013

Review: Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

Title: Revolver
Author: Marcus Sedgwick

Publication: September 27, 2011 by Square Fish

Goodreads Summary: 

In an isolated cabin, fourteen-year-old Sig is alone with a corpse: his father, who has fallen through the ice and frozen to death only hours earlier. Then comes a stranger claiming that Sig’s father owes him a share of a horde of stolen gold. Sig’s only protection is a loaded Colt revolver hidden in the cabin’s storeroom. The question is, will Sig use the gun, and why?

My Thoughts: 

      I really liked the tension in this novel. It created a suspenseful story and I really had no idea what would happen. I definitely could connect with Sig and I was sucked into imagining what I would do in his situation. I like the way the narrative wove back and forth between Sig and the story of what happened with his father ten years ago. I also liked the way the author used quotes from that period of history to help ground his story and make it feel more realistic. The other element in this novel that I think is important is the setting. This is a harsh, cold, and lonely place which adds extra conflict because there is no going outside without preparing for it so Sig can't just run. I thought the author did a fantastic job of describing the cold so that the reader can really imagine it. Although I am not sure that every reader would really feel it the way those of us that experience winters that can sometimes be harsh do. Although winters in Wisconsin are nowhere near as harsh as winters in the arctic circle, I have been outside in subzero temperatures and can thus feel the cold in this excerpt:

"He tugged at the latch, and before he'd even stepped outside the cold had him, grasping him, squeezing his chest and biting his face. The wind clawed at his mouth and nose, but a hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, Sig had learned the trick of holding his breath inside until he knew which way the wind was attacking. Still it stole up the backs of his legs and over his face, finding a way in to drain him of his heat."

This is a book that I picked up and read in one sitting. The story is well-written and the mystery kept me intrigued until the very end. I was also fascinated with the short glimpse of life for gold miners in the arctic. I think this book would appeal to fans of adventure books. I highly recommend it for grades 8 and up.

I know I will also be looking for other books by Marcus Sedgwick. Find more info about the author at

4 out of 5 stars

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