Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Jaffy's adventures. At the beginning of this book I felt it was possibly going to be more of a young adult novel but as it progresses it most definitely isn't. I was a tad disappointed that the story doesn't concentrate more on the animals than it does and was hoping for a water for elephants Water for Elephants kind of feel but was very wrong.
Its a very atmospheric historical story about a young lad living in poverty in the London slums of the mid 19th century who comes across a tiger escaped from a local menagerie, which leads to his gaining employment with the animal keepre and meeting a whole new set of friends which set his life on a different course.
Together with his best friend Tim he sets off to sea on a whaling ship with hopes of capturing a fabled dragon creature from a south sea island. The main essence of the story centres around events at sea and the affect it has on his life. Gory and gritty many shocks are contained in this part, yet what could be a boring tale is kept vibrant and exciting by the superb writing and I was captivated from start to finish.
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