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Cold Shoulder Road by Joan Aiken

Cold Shoulder Road (1995)

by Joan Aiken

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165672,171 (3.9)17
  1. 30
    Is by Joan Aiken (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Another novel featuring Dido Twite's sister Is and cousin Arun.

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Is is back, travelling with Arun from the north to find his mother in the south. But the house on Cold Shoulder Road is empty and the people are unfriendly and there are smugglers and bandits abroad with a fierce grip on the land, with hostage children and terrible reprisals and mammoth-tusk ivory smuggled through the channel tunnel. Another Tale Of Twites, good and bad, dogged heroism versus diabolical mischief. Chases and kidnaps, traps and escapes, inventive hidey-holes and strange folk of one stripe or another. Classic Aiken. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
Eh. Not terrible, but I don't think I'd care to read it again. Where it's not obvious and predictable, it's seriously loopy - and sometimes both at once. I like Ruth, I like Arun, Is and Penny are good, Pye is amazingly annoying even though she has reason to be. Why kill Jen off, though? And all the others? All the deaths are off-screen, reported after the fact at best - sometimes only rumor. As far as the story goes, they're rather pointless. Even as warnings from the Merry Gentry, they're rather pointless. And when we get to see the methods, they're ridiculous - the kite makes no sense at all (the likelihood of it landing exactly where they want it to? Sheesh). So - random actions by heroes and villains, even worse than usual floods of coincidence, lots of convenient help from very peculiar places, and no point or overall goal, really - I mean, the main aim was to find Arun's mother and that was accomplished half-way through. Then tangles appeared and snagged them all over again - and the final solution was waaaay too easy, both of them. The villains die in ridiculously convenient ways. Not a favorite. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Nov 23, 2013 |
In this ninth entry in Aiken's Wolves Chronicles, and the second featuring Is Twite as a heroine, Is and her cousin Arun go in search of Arun's mother in Folkstone. Here they must contend with a band of ruthless smugglers known as The Merry Gentlemen, and a strange religious cult called the Silent Sect. Aiken delivers her usual assortment of odd characters and unexpected plot developments, including more unknown Twite relations, a long-lost royal treasure, and a frigate stuck at the top of a tree.

I was surprised to discover, while reading Cold Shoulder Road, that I was becoming somewhat impatient with Aiken's series. As I mentioned in my review of Is Underground, the two titles featuring Is Twite do not rank among my favorites in the Wolves Chronicles, mostly because I consider Is Twite to be a shallow and unsatisfactory copy of her older sister, Dido. But this title, in particular, struck me as being the low point in Aiken's extended narrative about an alternative Britain. The author utilizes all of her regular tricks, and perhaps that is part of the problem. As paradoxical as it may be, her unconventionality almost seems routine by this point...

I might have stopped reading the series at this point, if I hadn't discovered that the next title, Dangerous Games, reverts back to Dido's adventures. As a side note, although I didn't really enjoy Cold Shoulder Road, I loved the cover artwork by Edward Gorey. ( )
3 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jun 28, 2013 |
The sequel to 'Is' (US: 'Is Underground') is another of Joan Aiken's unputdownable novels in the James III / Wolves sequence. The villains are as villainish as ever, with few redeeming features, the young (and not-so-young) protagonists are regularly scrobbled, and much of the fairytale action which would normally be regarded as implausible acquires a degree of reality through Aiken's powerful storytelling.

Rich in details, the novel dovetails chronologically into the rest of the series but can be enjoyed--just about--as a standalone. Most of the action takes place in Kent, along the coast from Aiken's beloved Sussex, but in Aiken's usual timeframe where the 1830s or the early 1840s are not quite as the history we are more familiar with. ( )
1 vote ed.pendragon | Sep 28, 2010 |
Sequel to Is Underground. In the previous book in the series, Is Twite travelled north to find her missing cousin, Arun. Now Arun has been found, and they are going back to his home town to reunite him with his mother. But when they get there, they discover that Aunt Ruth has disappeared. Arun's family was part of the Silent Sect, a strange group of true believers who believe that silence is holy and noise is sinful. But things have changed in the sect since Arun left -- there is a new, charismatic leader named Dominic de la Twite, and it seems that he may be Up To No Good. There is also a band of smugglers operating in the area, the Merry Gentry, who are a bunch of very dangerous ne'er-do-wells. Can Is and Arun get to the bottom of things and find his Aunt Ruth? As always, this was a delight; I think Joan Aiken is one of the most consistently clever and inventive authors one could read. ( )
  Crowyhead | Mar 21, 2007 |
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Every night, around nine o'clock in Cold Shoulder Road, the screaming began.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440413419, Hardcover)

Having freed the children enslaved in the northern mines, Is Twite and her cousin Arun return to Folkestone to find Arun's mother. But she has disappeared without a trace. There's plenty of evidence of strange goings-on now that the Channel Tunnel is open, and smugglers called the Merry Gentry have the whole countryside terrified. Have they abducted Arun's mother? Is and Arun are up against the evil Dominic de la Twite and the sneaky Admiral Fishskin in this fast-paced, wickedly witty adventure.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

As they search for Arun's mother, Is Twite and her cousin Arun are grateful for their ability to communicate telepathically when they find themselves in a series of dangerous predicaments involving the evil Dominic de la Twite and his Silent Sect.

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