________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 7 . . . . November 23, 2007

cover

Abductors.

Bernadette Gabay Dyer.
Burlington, ON: Rain, 2007.
176 pp., pbk., $17.99.
ISBN 978-1-897381-31-1.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Ann Ketcheson.

*** /4

excerpt:

"Creepy stuff!!" he said out loud, and I silenced him, and wrote him a quick note, much to his astonishment.

“My father was doing amateur investigations,” my note said. “He felt he was on to something, and had come to the conclusion that Fairy Lore and the UFO phenomena are one and the same.

After reading the subject myself I'm inclined to believe him, because Britain has always had close connections with little men. In Ireland they are known as little People, in Scotland they are the Good Neighbours and in England they are Fairies. My father is pretty sure that they are what North Americans term as Space Aliens.”

Norman's eyes were bigger than ever after he read my note and, feeling reckless, I began to speak without regard for possible listeners.

“Norman, most of the phenomena I mentioned make their appearances known in exactly the same way.”

“And how's that Graeme?”

“The brilliant lights, flying objects, that sort of thing.”

“That's true, I never thought of that!”

“There's more Norman. They can all paralyze their victims, and even machinery. Another similarity is that they all can put people into time warps. Remember Rip Van Winkle, and also the case of Betty and Barney Hill, not to mention countless other kidnappings and abductions? Look them up, you'll be amazed.”

Norman gulped. “Perhaps you shouldn't say anything else out loud. These things sound like demons, which reminds me, my brother made me this metal cross to protect me against demons.  Have a look, I always wear it on a chain, and it's made of steel. He says a guy from Africa told him that steel wards off demons."

 

Graeme Hulis is a 13-year-old who appears to have links to the paranormal through his own experiences as well as through his parents. He and his father emigrate from England to Toronto only to have his father disappear, perhaps because of some sort of abduction. Graeme also feels he is being watched and could be in danger. Eventually he finds himself back in England - or does he?

     Like the fairies and fantasy animals, the cast of characters in Abductors seems to shift and change from one geographical place to another and from one world to another. Graeme's friend Norman and his girlfriend Allison seem like average teens on the surface, but they, too, believe in and understand the totally unreal world into which Graeme is launched. And the mysterious Dr. Carlton and Anna Wall - who are they, really?

     Bernadette Gabay Dyer takes her readers into another world where myth, magic and reality are intertwined and one cannot always distinguish which is which. Fairies, intelligent animals, even trees with spirits are all part of this supernatural realm. Time, itself, is fluid, and the characters experience many time warps throughout the novel. This can be confusing for readers who prefer a more straightforward, linear plot and more developed characters.

     Dyer invites us into a world which seems superficially ordinary in many ways but which absolutely vibrates with a parallel universe seen only by those who are chosen or perhaps abducted. And this parallel world is not merely inhabited by good fairies and happy 'little people' but rather is populated by a variety of beings, many of whom have much more sinister characteristics.

     This is an interesting and unusual fantasy novel which will appeal to students who enjoy myth and folklore and who dare to venture into Dyer's unseen world of Abductors.

Recommended.

Ann Ketcheson, a retired teacher-librarian and teacher of high school English and French, lives in Ottawa, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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