Saturday, 29 September 2012
Review: Ante's Inferno by Griselda Heppel
12 year old Ante has joined Northwell School on a music scholarship, where she discovers an old friend from Primary school, Florence. However, Florence and her friends seem to be going out of their way to be unkind to her, and one lunchtime they are chasing Ante through school to get her back for standing up to them. Ante ducks into the school hall and up into the organ loft. But Florence, following her up the stairs, lunges for Ante. There is a crack, and they both fall over the balcony.
When they come through, there is a boy wearing odd looking clothes nearby. His name is Gil, and he leads them down a dark corridor to the Underworld. Why are they there? How can they get back to Northwell? And why is Florence so convinced that Ante has stolen something from her?
I absolutely loved this gripping novel. Peopled with figures from classical mythology and following the structure of Dante's Inferno, with Gil (who has learnt stories from the classics) leading Ante and Florence in the way that Virgil leads Dante through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, it is an exciting, interesting read. It is not necessary to be familiar with either Dante or classical mythology, as Gil has to explain the stories to Ante and Florence, but readers who are familiar with Percy Jackson will be familiar with many of the figures, even if they haven't read Greek myths. A fantastic book for readers 9+. I'm glad to see that Griselda Heppel's next book, The Tragicall History of Henry Fist, is forthcoming. I hope we don't have to wait too long!
Disclosure: I received this book from the author, who kindly sent a review copy. However, this review represents my honest opinion about the book.