Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Felix And The Red Rats Felix And The Red Rats
by James Northcliffe

Supplied for review by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Felix and the Red Rats is the latest children’s novel from James Norcliffe and a ripping wee yarn, rather a ripping two yarns, it is too.

This book comprises the story of David, his Uncle Felix and some rats under the care of David’s brother that have turned a bright tomato red. Within the book is a story being read by David but written by Uncle Felix about his first adventure in the fantasy land of Axillaris.

David’s story is a mystery tale – just why are rats and then cats turning red – without murders but with a very grumpy elder brother. Felix’s tale is a contest between greed and rightful inheritance played out around a most puzzling brain teaser problem – because to get her inheritance the not-quite-imprisoned princess must first solve a riddle, and to get it wrong would pass her inheritance to her greedy uncle.

James Norcliffe has set the tones of the two stories at the appropriate pitch, with fully realised characters and plots in both tales; and at the end very fittingly ties them together in the final chapter.

Felix and the Red Rats was a real pleasure to read. Strongly recommended. I liked the puzzle too; took me a while to solve it.

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