I am thrilled by the news that OUTLAW has found a place on School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2011 list, in such excellent company as Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls), Marcus Sedgewick (White Crow) and Veronica Roth (Divergent).
A good review also from Armadillo magazine:
This is, quite simply, a cracking action thriller.
It has all the classic elements: a swashbuckling outlaw; a capable but aimless young hero brought to maturity through adversity; a feisty heroine; corrupt officials; gadgets; kidnap; and a countdown-to-disaster climactic scene. It is, however, very definitely an action thriller for the 21st Century, and none of these classic elements feels in any way clichéd in Stephen Davies’ capable hands.
Jake Knight, son of the UK ambassador to Burkina Faso, is kidnapped along with his younger sister Kirsty by… well, by whom? His kidnappers are not whom they at first seem, and nor are his initial rescuers. Helped by a charismatic African Robin Hood figure, Jake must find his way home before the wrong man is hunted down and killed for his abduction.
Davies lives in Burkina Faso, and his writing brings a real sense of the country to the reader; but he also clearly knows his modern technology, and he makes full use of – among other things – his hero’s smartphone to keep the story belting along in a way that would make Ian Fleming proud (who knew, for instance, that you can charge your phone using AA batteries and cream?).
Outlaw is clever, moral, action-packed, and a great story. If that’s the kind of book you like, I can’t recommend this one highly enough.
OUTLAW was published in the US last month by Clarion. Here are the links to the OUTLAW page on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.