I LOVE this book. It's the best children's book I've read in years, and once I finished it, I wanted to start it all over again.
The bad boys of the Raven family are good boys really. When they are successful in crime, they dash their mum some caio - or give her some cash, as they say in the thieves' cant that's Lee Raven's voice.
Lee and his brothers are crims in 2040s London. They carry skellies - skeleton keys to open any lock - and they know the secret roads of London's sewers by heart.
But Lee makes a mistake: he's papped while dipping. The paparazzo's photo of him stealing the wallet of Romana Asteriosy, one of the richest, and crookedest, of the rich Russians in London, is on all the front pages.
Now Lee's on the run.
This story, told by a mother-and-schoolkid authorial team, has a magical twist with every page.
Lee steals the motherlode of stories, the book that God created at the same time as he made humankind.
As the book itself explains, it has the perfect story for every individual. "Or at least, to paraphrase the philosopher Jagger, if I don't give them what they want, I give them what they need."
Lee runs, pursued by a demonic authoress, and by Janaki, the adopted Kashmiri daughter the aged bookseller won in a game of poker.
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant fun. What a great book.
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