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The Various by Steve Augarde
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The Various (2003)

by Steve Augarde

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
An enchanting cover; the story, not so much.

It took five separate attempts over the last two months before I could finally push my way through to the end. Midge didn't talk, act or react like a 12-year-old girl, and I found the adults all rather self-involved and unlikable. So there weren't any characters with whom I really felt a strong connection.

The world of the Various should have been exciting and mesmerizing, but it just wasn't. It needed more oomph! I was almost - and I loathe to say this - bored. Perhaps it was too much description where not a whole lot was needed, and too little where it would've added depth and intrigue? For these reasons I will not check out books two and three. I will say that I rather enjoyed the perspective of the Various: how they saw the Gorji (humans); how they feared and avoided the felix (cats) at all costs; how they described and used books.

I would only recommend The Various to young readers, up to around age 10, who have not been exposed to much fantasy. Otherwise, the frequent readers and/or the older readers would likely give up on this one.

2.5 stars ( )
  flying_monkeys | Nov 22, 2014 |
Same old story: Girl discovers fairies,learns of the danger to fairies, and works to protect them. However, this story has great flesh - decent writing, a well described environment, and relatable characters. Really enjoyed Pegs. I would have liked a bit more with him. I will definitely read more of the series. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
I struggled with this book. I didn't click with Augarde's style at all. There was too much head-hopping going on too noticeably and the way he tried to ensure we knew what he was referring to (At one point several of the Various are talking about a felix to one another and they go "You know, what gorgi/humans call cats" because obviously kids aren't capable of making the connection on their own. If they'd been talking to Midge or, well, any other human, I'd have been fine with it, but they weren't.) The book's filled with little niggly things that one or two additional rounds of content editing would have caught.

And it's a shame because the story is a whole lot of fun. It's fast, it's twisty, it's sweet. It says a lot about friendship and loyalty, and it tries to say a lot about racism and discrimination. It's got a great set of characters: Little-Marten's vivacy and cheerfulness, Henty's shyness, Midge's compassion, George's mischief, the relationship between all the Various tribes and the relationship between them and the humans. And Pegs. Let's not forget Pegs. Pegs is very sweet, and reminded me a smidge of Madeline L'Engle's three Mrses. It's very definitely the first in a series, but it's a fun way to spend the afternoon that's just simple not quite as much fun as it could have been. (Really. So much potential still unused. T_T)

But, yes, the little niggling issues I mentioned in the first paragraph stopped me from engaging with this story the way that I'd wanted to and could have. As a story, it was quite a lot of fun and I'd have loved it as a child. ( )
  lynnoconnacht | Apr 5, 2013 |
  jeremylukehill | Feb 9, 2011 |
I really enjoyed this book. I found that it was different from all the other fairy books. I can't wait to read the other 2 books. ( )
  millett23 | Oct 28, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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Dedicated to all those who live precariously yet remain hopeful. (And this includes my family of course - Gina, Camille and Marcelle)
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The Various were not as Midge had imagined they would be.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440420296, Paperback)

The idea of a race of little people (fairies) living secretly among us has had a powerful hold on the imaginations of writers from Shakespeare to Terry Pratchett and Eoin Colfer. In The Various, Steve Augarde has used this fascination brilliantly to craft the first novel of a trilogy full of breathless action and wonder. When twelve-year-old Midge is sent by her concert-violinist mother to spend the summer at the farm of her sweet but bungling Uncle Brian, her initial resentment gives way to delight in the freedom of exploring the countryside. When she discovers a tiny winged horse lying wounded in an outbuilding, she is awestruck to find out that he comes from a civilization of five various tribes of little people living in a nearby wood—-something readers will have already learned from alternate chapters set in the fairy world. Disaster threatens when Uncle Brian plans to sell the wood to a developer, and Midge and her cousins find (to their own peril), that some of the little people are not as helpless as they seem. Steve Augarde draws on his visual and auditory skills as a BBC animator and picture book author/illustrator for vividly realized detail—-the dumpy and addled fairy queen, the smells and moods of the English summer, the sharply differentiated accents and personalities of each of the five tribes—-in an entrancing debut fantasy. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:41 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

While staying on her uncle's rundown farm in the Somerset countryside, twelve-year-old Midge discovers that she has a special connection to the Various, a tribe of "strange, wild--and sometimes deadly" fairies struggling to maintain their existence in the nearby woods.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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