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Duck boy by Bill Bunn

Duck boy (edition 2012)

by Bill Bunn

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97950,433 (3.21)1
Title:Duck boy
Authors:Bill Bunn
Info:Altadena, CA : Bitingduck Press, 2012.
Collections:Your library

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Duck Boy by Bill Bunn



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English (6)  Dutch (1)  All (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Disclaimer: I may sound a bit harsh in this review, but it is clear this is a new author. I want to give constructive criticism, hopefully to help him improve his style going forward.

First, it is an incredibly imaginative book. The premise of Alchemy (instead of the run of the mill magic) was a nice touch! I like the idea of being able to 'travel' to another 'world'. I passed this ebook along of my twelve year old and other family members. All really enjoyed it! You have a great start and I can see where you are going (or want to go).

Here is where it gets harsh...

Your character building needs to be honed. I really liked the young hero and you did pretty good with him. However, the supporting characters (the aunt, uncle,Dad)needed more development.

You have a great start at making the Aunt an eccentric, LOVEABLE mentor...however, she came across as more of a bumbling, crazy lady.

Same thing with the Dad...he should have been portrayed as a sad, confused husband...but he seems harsh and unfeeling. Sometimes it takes a parent to write a parent role...maybe interview a parent (someone who supports you and your writing)and explain the character and ask them how they would feel and have them explain why a parent might act a certain way.

The Uncle should have been written as a "Grumpy Old Man" in a comic relief sort of way...but he wasn't funny or likeable.

I suspect you are young (under 18) because you make EVERY adult in the book seem inept and almost unlikeable. An adult can relate to being young(they were young once) but it is hard for a younger person to relate to being an adult...

Remember to use your words wisely...sometimes it felt like you were missing detail and other times it felt like you rushed through (the ending in particular).

Google the term: DRABBLE ...it is a writing exercise. This will help!

Overall, I think I was able to see where you wanted to take the story...I hope you have started Book 2!

I wish you the best of luck and KEEP WRITING! You WILL get better with time :) ( )
  FutureBestSeller | Jun 7, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This story wasn't exactly what I expected it would be, however I did enjoy reading. The title comes from an event in the main character's past, a moment that actually has very little to do with the story. I wasn't certain that the constant repetition of "Duck Boy" as the reminder of his inadequacies was really what was needed, but it didn't put me off reading.

This is actually the tale of discovering modern alchemy, told as a young boy discovers his true potential. The boy in the story has experienced the sudden disappearance of his mother and must cope with that as well as the stresses of trying to fit in with others outside of his home. The quest to find out what happened to his mother takes him on an interesting journey that is sometimes reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. There were times when I thought the characters weren't behaving in a very realistic way, doing things that seemed inappropriate for the situation or stood out as odd to do at the time, but the overall plot and storytelling were good.

Note: Though this book was a free gift from the author, the content of my review was in no way influenced by the gifting. The book speaks for itself and my review would have been worded just this way even if I'd gone out and bought it. I also give bonus points for Text To Speech enabling on Kindle format.... but that also wasn't a factor in the above review. ( )
  mirrani | Nov 28, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The book opens with the compelling mystery of the disappearance of Steve's mother, and the reader soon learns it may have been the result of an alchemy experiment gone bad. I really liked the premise of the story, and the plot moved at a good pace that made want to keep reading to find out what would happen next. Even though I think this book is aimed at a younger audience(maybe around 5th-6th grade), I still enjoyed reading it. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good fantasy story. ( )
  coliet4 | Nov 9, 2012 |
Fourteen-year-old Steve best is the victim of bullies at school. The problem is only made worse when he tries to rescue a duck frozen in the pond. This act only serves to make him an even bigger laughing stock and earns him the epithet 'duck boy'.

This his mother disappears. His father, who travels for his work, sends him to stay with his eccentric Aunt Shannon. Aunt Shannon is a budding alchemist. When she shows Steve how to transform a clock into a lock with the use of alchemy, Steve becomes excited. His mother's disappearance may be the result of alchemy and maybe he and Aunt Shannon can use it to find her.

Unfortunately, Aunt Shannon's experiments have attracted the attention of a rival group of alchemists and soon mayhem ensues: Aunt Shannon also disappears, Uncle Edward is kidnapped, and Steve is on the run, pursued by both the police who think he's guilty of the strange disappearances as well as the bad guys who want his knowledge.

Duck Boy is a fun story aimed at middle-graders. It's full of eccentric characters, exciting chases and a strange alternate world. My one complaint with the book would be the ending which seems a little contrived. Overall, though, I suspect children will enjoy the non-stop action. ( )
  lostinalibrary | Oct 24, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book has an interesting premise - it's about a boy whose family stumbles upon a form of alchemy involving words. Unfortunately, I felt like it never really came together. Take the title, for instance. Our main character, actually named Steve, is nicknamed Duckboy by the kids at school after risking his life to save a duck that was trapped in the ice. It's a nice story that establishes him as a sympathetic character, and yet it really doesn't have a whole lot to do with the story. It feels thrown in, as does a great deal of this piecemeal book.

There isn't anything really objectionable about the book, and yet, I can't help feeling that it could've been so much more. The characters weren't really fully fleshed out. Everything happened too neatly, not as if the characters were driving themselves, but as if there was an author there in the background, not fully hidden behind the flimsy curtain, saying to himself, "Now wouldn't it be cool if..." ( )
  AnnieHidalgo | Oct 11, 2012 |
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14-year-old Steve Best is failing at school and life until he finds a family magic secret.

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