Down the Mysterly RiverFeatured
Max “the Wolf” is a top notch Boy Scout, an expert at orienteering and a master of being prepared. So it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat)—all of whom talk—and who are as clueless as Max.
Before long, Max and his friends are on the run from a relentless group of hunters and their deadly hounds. Armed with powerful blue swords and known as the Blue Cutters, these hunters capture and change the very essence of their prey. For what purpose, Max can’t guess. But unless he can solve the mystery of the strange forested world he’s landed in, Max may find himself and his friends changed beyond recognition, lost in a lost world…
My biggest hurdle was that it reminds me of so many novels that I started to lose interest. Initially the story reminded me of The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, Winnie the Pooh, even a little bit of The Wizard of Oz. It hinted to my childhood reading of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. It took me about 100 pages in to discover the unique voice that kept me hooked. Down the Mysterly River joins what I believe is the unique genre to enter the world of the young adult novel- revisited fables and fairy tales. It is the very fact that it includes so many familiar themes and elements that makes this book an excellent read.
Max is a great example for young readers to follow. He finds himself in a confusing, dangerous situation. Because he is a skillful boyscout who truly cares about others, he is able to survive. He knows enough to understand that in difficult situations you must work with others around you.
Overall, Down the Mysterly River is a good quality book. The characters are amusing; the young detective storyline is interesting. Although I did have trouble keeping interested in the storyline at first, once the plot line picked up I had trouble putting this book down.