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Children's Book Review : Medusa Island

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December 2008 

Medusa Island by authors Stuart & Linda Macfarlane

Reviewed by Kathryn Moss

Suitable for children aged 9 to 12 years, this book is a classic famous five (except there are three!) adventure story with a twist: it conjures up numerous figures from Greek mythology and places them in a modern setting.

The story starts on the Scottish mainland when three of Simon’s classmates disappear and no one seems to bat an eyelid. He and a friend soon discover their missing friends, however to their horror they have been turned to stone! They then meet Melissa who is doing a very good impression of Medusa snakes and all, and they are only saved from a similar fate because they’re wearing mirrored sunglasses. From Melissa they learn that an evil scientist, Doctor X, has found a way to turn people and animals into mythical creatures and has already transformed everyone on the little Scottish Island of Gogha, where Melissa hails from. Doctor X has big plans for his evil work!

Naturally only the three children can save the world and there follows great adventure as they make their way through an island overrun by dangerous creatures such as Harpies, Minotaurs, Chimeras, Cyclops, a Nine-headed Hydra, to name but a few. Their aim: to get to Doctor X’ evil lair and undo all his bad work. Read the book and see how they get on.

This book is exciting and great fun. The characters are well developed with quirky names and clever links between the creatures and their previous incarnations. A great present for children and it may even stimulate their interest in mythology, you never know!

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