“compelling and entertaining” – review of Thomas Silent on Risingshadow

Cover by Alison Buck
Cover by Alison Buck

On Risingshadow, Seregil of Rhiminee has reviewed Ben Gribbin’s novel Thomas Silent, or, Why there are no more mermaids. When he started to read it he found it to be such a “compelling and entertaining fairy-tale-like story” that he read it in one sitting, and by the end “I could only think of what a fine and absorbing story I had just read” he says.

At the start of his review Seregil describes it as a “good old-fashioned yet modern fairy-tale adventure which is told in a heartwarming and pleasant manner”, adding that it will delight readers of all ages. Ben has, he says, “created his own original vision” of mermaids in an “irresistible” novel, adding that it is such an interesting version of mermaids and mermen because “he writes about people who live in a parallel realm, but sometimes visit our world”.

Although Thomas Silent may appear to be a young adult or children’s fairy-tale, Seregil says it “transcends the normal boundaries” of such fiction by being a story that also attracts adult readers. Tom is a classic heroic protagonist who will appeal to young readers. As well as being an adventure story it’s also a ‘coming of age’ story as Tom discovers who he truly is and what he must do, and as such will appeal to older readers too.

Seregil compliments Ben on how he “writes fluently about Tom’s life” and the “realistic way” in which relationships are handled. He says that Ben writes “intriguingly” about Tom, Coralie and Phillimore and their relationship. He says that the story is “simple, but beautiful” and that “Ben Gribbin’s prose flows easily and his writing style feels entertaining”, with elements of “wistfulness” and “lyrical beauty” that are “seldom found in young adult fantasy fiction”.

In conclusion, Seregil says that he hopes to read more from Ben Gribbin and recommends Thomas Silent as an adventure for the whole family. It has, he says, a simple beauty and “captivating allure” that will charm readers of any age who have “a child-like fascination with fantasy stories” as it takes them on a “magical journey to a parallel realm”.

You can read the whole of Seregil’s review here.