The Boy With One Name

Monsters and monster fighters.

Your reviews

Joseph P, 10
I liked the plot of the book because the characters (Jones,Ruby and Thomas Gabriel) go to lots of different places. This makes it interesting to read. I recommend this book for age 8 and over.
Miss Cleveland, 9
Jones has grown up as an apprentice Badlander, learning how to despatch creatures ordinary people believe only exist in books and nightmares, wishing he could be an ordinary person too.

Ruby has spent her life bouncing from one foster home to the next, and is sick of it. The night she runs away, she never dreamed of the nightmare she would find herself in, but the possibility of escaping her ordinary life is one she refuses to let go of.

With the two children unexpectedly thrown together, they find themselves facing creatures the most experienced Badlanders won't take on in a bid to find a way to the futures they want for themselves.

A darkly supernatural tale of courage, friendship and fighting for what you want in life. Jones's quiet steel and determination to survive long enough to be ordinary is the perfect balance to Ruby's headstrong defiance of the 'Ordnung' and her desire to be anything but. The lines between the Badlands and the ordinary world blend seemlessly to create a sense of constant menace. Add in an action-packed plot that moves at pace, magic, supernatural beings and Anglo-Saxon mythology, and what you get is a spellbinding story that held me in its grip from the first page until the last, including the additional bonus of a glossary of Badlands terms at the end.

Great for fans of Robin Jarvis, Ruth Eastham and Abi Elphinstone. Due to the graphic nature of some scenes (violence) I wouldn't lend this below Year 6.

352 pages / Ages 10+ / Reviewed by Nicola Cleveland, school librarian.
Fiona DeeCee, 9
Jones is an orphaned 12 year old boy who has been looked after and trained to hunt monsters by his guardian Maitland. Together they are meant to keep their area of the Badlands free of Ogres, Witches and other creatures we believe to be mythological. But Jones doesn't want to be a Badlander, he just wants to be normal.

Then Jones meets another orphan, the headstrong and outspoken Ruby who is desperate to be anything but normal. But in trying to prove herself more than just a girl she unleashes more danger into the world.
When Maitland dies in a hunt that goes terribly wrong, Jones thinks he can now go back to being normal. But everything is not as it seems and Jones is going to need Ruby's help to clear up their mess before either can work out what their future holds.

The Boy With One Name is one of those books that grabs you and doesn't let go until you reach the very last page. A wonderful tale of friendship and bravery with spellbinding supernatural and mythological creatures. I loved that both characters were desperate for a different life, desperate to have the exact opposite of what they have, it gave a great sense of what its like to be that age and that it's normal to feel that way, even in such a different world.

Ruby's story was also really current, with her feminist spirit coming through. Wanting to prove that girls CAN do anything!

This would be a great book for mythology or along side Anglo-Saxon history as a great light hearted class book along the theme. Recommended age 9+ due to some of the dark and mildly graphic scenes.

342 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Fiona DeeCee
Kay Hymas, 9
Jones is a 12 year old monster hunter-in-training (badlander) who dreams of being ordinary. Ruby, an ordinary girl who is desperate to be anything but! This is a supernatural tale, in the grand tradition of Harry Potter but oh so different. The story leaps straight into the action with Jones and Maitland (his mentor) tackling an ogre in the grounds of a deserted country cottage where Ruby just happens to be using as an escape from her foster parents. Maitland is killed during the struggle and Jones realises that if he wants to become 'normal', he will need Ruby's help in overcoming larger obstacles than he had ever realised. The story blends magic, supernatural beings and Anglo-Saxon mythology to create a wonderful adventure. I would recommend this to fans of Harry Potter and other fantasy novels and for readers aged 9 - 13. (Top end primary, lower end secondary).

352 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Kay Hymas, school librarian.

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