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Long-awaited new editions of Peter Dickinson’s cult classics England in the future – but an England that is less rather than more civilised. This is the time of The Changes – a time when people, especially adults, have grown to hate machines and returned to a more primitive lifestyle. It is a time of hardship and fear… When 16-year-old Geoffrey, a “weathermonger” starts to r Long-awaited new editions of Peter Dickinson’s cult classics England in the future – but an England that is less rather than more civilised. This is the time of The Changes – a time when people, especially adults, have grown to hate machines and returned to a more primitive lifestyle. It is a time of hardship and fear… When 16-year-old Geoffrey, a “weathermonger” starts to repair his uncle’s motorboat, he and his sister Sally are condemned as witches. Fleeing for their lives, they travel to France – where they discover that everything is normal. Returning to England, they set out to discover why the country is under this mysterious spell. Only discovering the origin of the deadly magic will allow them to set the people free of its destructive influence. Peter Dickinson began writing the books after he'd had a nightmare. The trilogy is not sequential; rather, each book explores a different aspect of England during the time that simply became known as The Changes.


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Long-awaited new editions of Peter Dickinson’s cult classics England in the future – but an England that is less rather than more civilised. This is the time of The Changes – a time when people, especially adults, have grown to hate machines and returned to a more primitive lifestyle. It is a time of hardship and fear… When 16-year-old Geoffrey, a “weathermonger” starts to r Long-awaited new editions of Peter Dickinson’s cult classics England in the future – but an England that is less rather than more civilised. This is the time of The Changes – a time when people, especially adults, have grown to hate machines and returned to a more primitive lifestyle. It is a time of hardship and fear… When 16-year-old Geoffrey, a “weathermonger” starts to repair his uncle’s motorboat, he and his sister Sally are condemned as witches. Fleeing for their lives, they travel to France – where they discover that everything is normal. Returning to England, they set out to discover why the country is under this mysterious spell. Only discovering the origin of the deadly magic will allow them to set the people free of its destructive influence. Peter Dickinson began writing the books after he'd had a nightmare. The trilogy is not sequential; rather, each book explores a different aspect of England during the time that simply became known as The Changes.

30 review for The Weathermonger

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    DAW Collectors #104 Cover Artist: George Barr Name: Dickinson, Peter Malcolm de Brissac, Birthplace: Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia, British Empire, (16 December 1927 -16 December 2015) Peter Dickinson was born in what is now Zambia. England is suffering in a time known as The Changes when the people have universally turned against all machines and live in a primitive state working on the land. Geoffrey, who has been the town's weathermonger, and his sister are about to be drowned for witchcraft be DAW Collectors #104 Cover Artist: George Barr Name: Dickinson, Peter Malcolm de Brissac, Birthplace: Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia, British Empire, (16 December 1927 -16 December 2015) Peter Dickinson was born in what is now Zambia. England is suffering in a time known as The Changes when the people have universally turned against all machines and live in a primitive state working on the land. Geoffrey, who has been the town's weathermonger, and his sister are about to be drowned for witchcraft because Geoffrey maintained his uncle's motorboat (and not because he conjures up weather conditions as required). They manage to escape in the boat across the Channel to France following many others who went before them. However the authorities in France, where modern life goes on as usual, persuade them to return to try to trace the apparent source of the paralyzing spell. The evil seems to emanate from somewhere in the Welsh borders. Geoffrey and Sally choose to travel by car - a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost taken from the Beaulieu Motor Museum - which seems a poor choice in the circumstances since it attracts so much unwanted attention. They are relentlessly hunted by hounds across the countryside and do very much better when they abandon the car for a cantankerous pony. Of course, the journey by car allows Peter Dickinson to paint an excellent portrait of the overwhelming hatred and revulsion which the people have developed for all things mechanical. Since the Changes began, machines have been anathema in England except, somehow, to Geoffrey Tinker; after five years as the Weymouth weathermonger, he has been caught fiddling with a motor boat, bludgeoned, and marooned on a rock with his sister Sally. The blow has obliterated his memory of the past five years but not his power to manipulate the weather, and they are soon safe with earlier English refugees in France. But to the other Western powers, ""the English phenomenon"" appears as a malignancy: because Jeff and Sally seem to be immune, they must return to discover its source. The scheme contrived by tyrannical General Turville calls for their covert return by motorless boat, then the activation of a long-cocooned 1909 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost for a dash across to the Welsh mountains, source of the most erratic weather. It is a brilliant episode: Jeff (who's 16) driving the Silver Ghost, fitted with a battering ram, through the flocks and toll gates, around the potholes and cursing people of an England which in five years has lapsed into the Dark Ages. . . until a dark cloud bears down on them, one that Jeff isn't strong enough to counter, and the Rolls is demolished by a thunderbolt. This is the work of the Necromancer, otherwise old friend Merlin--a bit of a disappointment, really, but attended by a flustery sort of Frankenstein who's splendid foil. Moments after the cataclysm immuring Merlin, jets appear, bringing the General, mechanical efficiency, unfeeling calculation. . . . One might speculate about the theme (is every British author at heart an Edwardian if not a Luddite? is every garden plot Merlin's graveyard?) but the story, ingeniously conceived and vividly personalized, brooks few reservations. Changes trilogy: The Weathermonger (1968) Heartsease (1969) The Devil's Children (Gollancz, 1970) The trilogy was written in reverse order: The "Devil's Children" is actually the first book In terms of the trilogy's chronology, "Heartsease" the second, and The" Weathermonger" the third.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    The Apocalyse! Now! With.... well, telling really would be a spoiler. Let's just say that this book establishes that this trilogy belongs firmly in the genre of books that are about The Matter of Britain. The book begins dramatically, as the curtain rises on two young people forced out into the water to drown as witches. The boy, Jeff, is suffering amnesia due to a recent knock on the head, but the girl, Sally, informs him that she's his sister and that he has the ability to control the weather. He The Apocalyse! Now! With.... well, telling really would be a spoiler. Let's just say that this book establishes that this trilogy belongs firmly in the genre of books that are about The Matter of Britain. The book begins dramatically, as the curtain rises on two young people forced out into the water to drown as witches. The boy, Jeff, is suffering amnesia due to a recent knock on the head, but the girl, Sally, informs him that she's his sister and that he has the ability to control the weather. He summons a fog, and the two manage to make their way to a boat that Jeff has kept in running order (part of the reason for the witchcraft charge - weather magic is accepted, but anything reeking of technology is suspect), and they escape across the Channel to France. However, as soon as the two arrive in the French immigration office, they're (bafflingly quickly) sent back to England to spy on the situation and try to find out where the Changes which have caused so much upheaval are emanating from. The plan is to grab a 1909 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost from a private collection (since simpler technology might be less troublesome) and make their way to Wales, where there have been rumors of a mysterious wood that's sprung up overnight, inhabited by a Necromancer. A Quest is underway... OK, this one in the trilogy is maintaining its remembered 4-star status. I really enjoyed it. (Although, I didn't recall how much focus, for a good part of the book, is placed on the car... probably because when I read it I was young enough that I had no idea what the car looked like, so it didn't create a visual memory. ) There is a LOT of love for this car in the book. (Though a lot of hate comes its way.) Having now finished my re-read of the 'trilogy' I can say unequivocally that re-arranging the order in the omnibus from publication order to chronological order was a mistake. This one should be read first, and the other two should be regarded as ancillary works, only to be read afterward. It just makes more sense in the original publication order, and eliminates some of the issues I had with the other two books. (Some of the issues - not all of them. There are still inconsistencies. For example, why, in this book, are animals as well as humans driven into a rage by technology, when in the other books animals seem to behave as usual?) Why are some people affected and not others? We still don't know. The book is also not without its flaws. For example, Geoffrey's amnesia is nothing more than a plot device which gives Sally an excuse to explain the situation to her brother, and thus, the reader. Other than this, it's not really dealt with at all, and Jeff having lost 5 years of his life barely seems to upset him or his sister. This seems like a bit of authorial laziness. I also felt like the weather-magic aspect of the book was hyped-up enough that it's a bit of a let-down when it doesn't end up figuring more prominently in the plot. I very much enjoyed the final reveal and denouement, however. From a dramatic perspective, it worked really well, even if the post-hoc scientific theorizing about explanations of great mysteries was a bit out-of-date (no one, at this point seriously thinks that there are large areas of the brain lying unused). The final paragraphs of the book, as well as a few earlier lines, nicely encapsulate Dickinson's rather conflicted attitude toward the events of this book (and the other two). BIG HUGE SPOILER DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU'VE READ THE BOOK OR DO NOT INTEND TO. (view spoiler)[The revelation in this book is that the Changes have been brought about by a pharmacist (chemist) discovering Merlin sleeping in his tomb, and using 'unnatural means' (injections) to try and rouse him from slumber. Half-conscious, Merlin's power has tried to bring the world around him back to that which he knew. (The Dark Ages.) In Merlin's opinion, "machines were just toys for clever apes, and not proper for man - they prevent him from finding his own nature." Regarding the chaos he had thrown England into and the deaths he'd caused "it was just unlucky for some of them, but they didn't matter much." (A Great Power is not concerned with petty morality?) Nevertheless, it is considered by both Merlin (and, we believe, the author) that it is correct and proper that Merlin is allowed to go back to his repose, and that civilization resumes its course. However, the book ends on a nostalgic note, when Jeff realizes that with Merlin back under the hill, magic is gone, and: "Nothing that he could do would alter the steady march of weeping clouds, or call down perfect summers, or summon snow for Christmas. Not ever again. And the English air would soon be reeking with petrol fumes." (hide spoiler)] Recommended. And remember, read this one first!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karen Mardahl

    I really did like this book when I first read it as a child. Over the years, the concept stuck in my head, but I forgot the name of the book and the author. I tested the power of social media and found the answer. I asked if anyone knew about this book - gave a brief description of what I vaguely remembered: England reverted to the Middle Ages while the rest of the world was "normal" - and a friend responded almost immediately. I wanted to re-read this book due to Brexit. Brexit had called up th I really did like this book when I first read it as a child. Over the years, the concept stuck in my head, but I forgot the name of the book and the author. I tested the power of social media and found the answer. I asked if anyone knew about this book - gave a brief description of what I vaguely remembered: England reverted to the Middle Ages while the rest of the world was "normal" - and a friend responded almost immediately. I wanted to re-read this book due to Brexit. Brexit had called up the image of an England thrown backwards in time, which triggered the thought of this book. I then discovered it was part of a trilogy called The Changes. I did not realise that, and I do not think that I knew that when I was a child. I decided to read The Devil's Children first because it was first chronologically according to the Changes timeline: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.... It covers the time just after the Changes begin. That really convinced me that Peter Dickinson wrote a prescient book about the atmosphere in England today. I couldn't find Heartsease, which is the second chronologically, so I turned to The Weathermonger. This book doesn't echo today's politics in the same way as I felt The Devil's Children does. It does have the technophobia and xenophobia of a people who are fearful of change. (Interesting it's called The Changes trilogy when the people of England despise change after their "change". :) Of course, the title means refer to how people are aware they lived a different lifestyle up to a point when something happened and they all reverted back to a lifestyle of the Middle Ages with no technology. I read these around the same time as I read the John Christopher books about the Tripods. I liked stories about kids saving the world. :) I could not remember that the protagonist was a 16-year-old boy. Perhaps I identified with his little sister, Sally, age 11, who was probably the real hero of the book, and only remembered a girl protagonist. Because the story mostly takes place in a Middle-Ages-type world, this story lasts the test of time, in my opinion. There are no odd elements like a character wishing they could send a telex or do something that is very dated. Someone mentions - this is not a spoiler - how we don't use all of our brain. That is dated because we now know that is a myth. It's a tiny reference and can be quickly ignored, although I would help a child reading this to know that the statement is wrong. I consider this book a lovely escape into your imagination. Peter Dickinson managed to transport me to another world for a few hours. When I finished the last page, I thought, darn, the magic is over and some chores await. I have a non-fiction book to read now, and my only thought was to find another fiction book so I could escape into another fantasy world on this lazy Sunday. :) PS I made sure that I posted my review on this particular book cover. It's the dust jacket to the first American edition of the book, and it is the one I got from the library. I much prefer it to other covers of the book that I have seen.

  4. 4 out of 5

    An Odd1

    Lots of "tinkering" p 18 tedious for differently-abled reader, suit like-minded "crankshaft .. dipstick" p 19 "bulldog clip .. cylinder block" p 20. Likewise fiddling with weather is italicized dream stream-of-consciousness fragments, where he always passes out, me nearly. Pages skipped, questions, fine first effort may be worth checking sequel. Suddenly awake being drowned as witches, Geoffrey Tinker 16 cannot recognize sister Sally 11 p 28 (Jeff and Sal to one another) after head knock sends hi Lots of "tinkering" p 18 tedious for differently-abled reader, suit like-minded "crankshaft .. dipstick" p 19 "bulldog clip .. cylinder block" p 20. Likewise fiddling with weather is italicized dream stream-of-consciousness fragments, where he always passes out, me nearly. Pages skipped, questions, fine first effort may be worth checking sequel. Suddenly awake being drowned as witches, Geoffrey Tinker 16 cannot recognize sister Sally 11 p 28 (Jeff and Sal to one another) after head knock sends his memory back five years, before the Changes in England, when people and animals started hating and attacking machines. Mostly Sal sticks her thumb in her mouth and grunts in her sleep, toddler behavior. She balks at trousers not "womanly" p15, yet twice takes on grownups, "butts her head into .. stomach", sends "bearded man" overboard in "luscious splash" p 17; "threw your smelly stove at him" p 61. Able to shape weather, Jeff wouldn't leave, "liked being one of the richest men in Weymouth" p 24, but secretly kept motorboat in repair so they make France. Jeff prefers lessons driving car to riding horse, so, fed up with exported English rain "must go somewhere" p 36, General Turville sends them back with mechanics who can help break out a museum Rolls Royce 1909 p 81Silver Ghost to reach center of weather disturbances, Wales border. Road trip chores fill days, read maps, hide from hounds, evade hunters, crash through tollgates, repair and maintain. Invasion is loud, provoking - should recon not be quiet, furtive? Of course the countryside rises in pursuit and they end up on horseback anyway after lightning zaps the car. Why not retrieve supplies? Wandering Norwich weatherman (teacher "Dominus" p 85 or "Cyril .. not, of course, my real name" p 92) seems friendly, but next morning he has gone with their best horse and all their gold. Castle seneschal Willoughby Furbelow shuts the door on wolves just in time, rambles, mumbles, about learning Latin - school made Sally fluent, morphine mistake, and "he" provides a medieval feast. (view spoiler)[ Dying "K planted .. flowering cherry" p 126 that blooms profusely out of season. Chemist husband W found gold in the soil, traced to Merlin's cavern, addicted magician in attempt to enslave. Sorcerer is big and furry, "nearly eight foot tall" hairy palms p 139, "black hair .. wild mane" p 138, "skin color of rusted iron" p 137, reminds Sally of circus "dancing bear" p 139, chained. He breaks the drug vial and decides to withdraw cold when Sally warns poison harms his mind. Cleverly sidestepping protection from deliberate harm, Jeff makes slippery ice so old W trips, breaks leg. At end, withdrawal upset downs Tower atop Merlin, back in suspended sleep - for King Arthur? W and kids agree to fudge "Necromancer .. went away" p 156, toss perfectly serviceable stuff "that spoilt the story" into "the true well" p 154, ruin only drinkable water. Kids will return to Weymouth "wouldn't do to have two heroes returning to France" p 159. Why do Tinkers invite undeserving villain to stay with them? W is worse than "weak" Lots unexplained. Does Sally know what she draws "into the engine hatch .. like one of my pictures" p 15, later cars. That makes her a witch? Why do all Tinkers not hate tech, only Jeff magic? Why hate fading in some people, Cyril also magic, why now? Why can Sal "feel" "another animal coming" p 58? Questions: p 19 "Damn!" cannot x-rate for one curse p 41 inanition = lacking vigor p 83 91 Necromancer is p 86, 88 Nigromancer p 94 "In the village, which is really only an inn and a couple of houses, they bought bread" should be "was", past tense throughout whole story (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    Set in a vague idea of the future (or rather as the future may have looked to a writer in 1969) The Weathermonger opens with Geoffrey and Sally, two siblings left adrift on a rock in the sea by their community. Confused by a knock on the head, Geoffrey is informed by Sally that their uncle has been killed after being found working on a motorboat, and that the two of them have been left to be drowned when the tide comes in. After "The Changes," England has regressed back into primitive times, in w Set in a vague idea of the future (or rather as the future may have looked to a writer in 1969) The Weathermonger opens with Geoffrey and Sally, two siblings left adrift on a rock in the sea by their community. Confused by a knock on the head, Geoffrey is informed by Sally that their uncle has been killed after being found working on a motorboat, and that the two of them have been left to be drowned when the tide comes in. After "The Changes," England has regressed back into primitive times, in which any machine or piece of technology is met with fear and loathing. Those unaffected by this bizarre state of mind have escaped to France, and that's where Geoffrey and Sally manage to escape — only to be sent back by the French authorities on a mission to discover where exactly the machine phobia stems from. The majority of the story concerns Geoffrey and Sally's dangerous... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amber Scaife

    A brother and sister barely escape a dystopian England to France after their fellow villagers try to drown them for tinkering with machinery. Something's happened across the entire country so that people have abandoned technology out of fear and have reverted to a Dark Age mentality. The French authorities send the kids back to England to try to discover what has caused such a change, and equips them as best they can for the quest. It helps that Jeff, the brother, has the power to change the wea A brother and sister barely escape a dystopian England to France after their fellow villagers try to drown them for tinkering with machinery. Something's happened across the entire country so that people have abandoned technology out of fear and have reverted to a Dark Age mentality. The French authorities send the kids back to England to try to discover what has caused such a change, and equips them as best they can for the quest. It helps that Jeff, the brother, has the power to change the weather, which also seems to have come to him (and others in England) as a result of The Changes. They need to make a dangerous cross-country journey to find the source of the change and try to stop it themselves. A fun, not-too-intense dystopian novel (the third in a trilogy, but can easily stand alone), and a neat, Arthurian ending.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jane Williams

    I came back to this as an adult having read it as a child, because I'm looking for books about a certain subject - and to tell you what would be spoilers. There are three books in the "Changes" trilogy, there are arguments over which you should read first. This is the one that tells you why the Changes happen, how they start and how they end. As a book goes, it's a bit of a curate's egg. The whole "Changes" concept is interesting, and the mental shift in otherwise normal people is well-written. Bu I came back to this as an adult having read it as a child, because I'm looking for books about a certain subject - and to tell you what would be spoilers. There are three books in the "Changes" trilogy, there are arguments over which you should read first. This is the one that tells you why the Changes happen, how they start and how they end. As a book goes, it's a bit of a curate's egg. The whole "Changes" concept is interesting, and the mental shift in otherwise normal people is well-written. But we start with our hero having lost 5 years of his memory, from 11 to 16, and he doesn't seem too bothered by this other than in purely mechanical terms: he lacks knowledge that he needs, he goes about getting it. The descriptions of the countryside, of the boats, and especially of the car, are detailed and believable. The attempt to recreate "the past" sadly varies from "Dark Ages" to high medieval to Victorian - I didn't spot it as a kid, as a former reenactor I certainly do now. One very strong point with this book, and the series as a whole, is that there are no bad, evil people. There are mistaken ones, there are ones under an unnatural influence that they can't control, but nobody is inherently evil, and everyone gets forgiven. And, reading, even as an adult, I get swept past the errors by the sheer story-telling.

  8. 4 out of 5

    BRT

    This third in the series turned very fantastical. It opens, in England, with two siblings left on a rock to drown because the town labeled them as witches. They escape to France where the military asks that they return to help the world figure out what madness has descended on England. They embark on a dangerous journey and end up in English mythology. Enjoyed the twist.

  9. 5 out of 5

    C

    Reads even better the second time around. Subtle magic-y YA. Makes me want to re-read his book 'Eva,' which was one of the first dystopias I ever read in elementary school...and take a look at his other stuff. Reads even better the second time around. Subtle magic-y YA. Makes me want to re-read his book 'Eva,' which was one of the first dystopias I ever read in elementary school...and take a look at his other stuff.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caro

    The mystery of the Changes in Britain is revealed in this book, the third in the trilogy but the first to be written (and probably should be read first). The explanation seems a bit contrived, but it's a good ride along the way. The mystery of the Changes in Britain is revealed in this book, the third in the trilogy but the first to be written (and probably should be read first). The explanation seems a bit contrived, but it's a good ride along the way.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    Brilliant book. I couldn't put it down. Unusual plot. Recommended by school for year 6. Totally agree. Had problems getting hold of a copy and had to get it second hand. Going to buy the other books in the trilogy. Brilliant book. I couldn't put it down. Unusual plot. Recommended by school for year 6. Totally agree. Had problems getting hold of a copy and had to get it second hand. Going to buy the other books in the trilogy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rick Chagouri-Brindle

    Very good up to the point they find the source of the hatred of technology. That so powerful a figure could have been captured in such a way, whilst achieving what he has seemed rather silly to me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Ceyton

    A quick read with a middling adventure and hardly a climax to be found. Enjoyable and unfortunately probably forgettable. Part of my DAW yellow spine read-through.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    This was a weeding candidate, and it had a very intriguing first chapter, so I dove in. I really liked the premise of this: for some reason, technology has become evil in England, and people have been killed for showing signs of technological knowledge. Cars and boats have been destroyed or left to decay. Geoffrey learned about motors from his uncle (since murdered) AND he has the ability to go into trances and control the weather. For this he and his little sister are nearly drowned in the sea b This was a weeding candidate, and it had a very intriguing first chapter, so I dove in. I really liked the premise of this: for some reason, technology has become evil in England, and people have been killed for showing signs of technological knowledge. Cars and boats have been destroyed or left to decay. Geoffrey learned about motors from his uncle (since murdered) AND he has the ability to go into trances and control the weather. For this he and his little sister are nearly drowned in the sea by their community, but they escape when Geoff conjures up a dense fog. They make it to France, where officials are worried about England's backward condition, and why pilots who've flown over to investigate suddenly doubt their planes' ability to fly. They're also wondering why Britain's notoriously bad weather has been perfect lately: "endless fine summers, with rain precisly when the crops need it; deep snow every Christmas, followed by iron frosts which break up into early, balmy springs...freckled by sudden patches of freak weather." Will this oddity spread to France? How to find out more, and/or stop it? After mulling several options, they decide to send Geoff and Sally back in, with some adult help, to steal a vintage motor car from a museum. Once back in England, the adults seem to start getting befuddled about machinery. The kids manage to get pretty far toward what seems to be the epicenter, near Wales, as the weather seems to be attacking them. Not to give away too much, I found the resolution a little soft compared to the original menace, and overall there was a little too much geographical detail--maybe if you were British it would add plausibility. However, great suspense, unusual situation, cool idea. This is the third book in The Changes trilogy; haven't read the first two, which we no longer own (but other libraries have them: The Devil's Children and Heartsease). It stands alone, but readers will probably want to track down the other two. We'll be keeping it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marjolein

    Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com I haven't finished a book in almost two weeks. It feels unnatural, and The Weathermonger is not to blame, but not a single book could keep my attention over the last 10 days. I miss the rest I can usually get from reading. Anyway, I read this was actually written and published first, with the other books being prequels, and I kind of would have liked to see it that way. There are some things that are being explained in the Weathermonger Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com I haven't finished a book in almost two weeks. It feels unnatural, and The Weathermonger is not to blame, but not a single book could keep my attention over the last 10 days. I miss the rest I can usually get from reading. Anyway, I read this was actually written and published first, with the other books being prequels, and I kind of would have liked to see it that way. There are some things that are being explained in the Weathermonger which make that the other books make more sense. However, I also sort of see why the publisher would switch the order, because some part of the excitement will be spoiled this way. There are once again two new main characters who are forced to flee to France, only to be immediately sent back to England in order to spy and search for what has been causing the changes. What they will uncover is some much sought after explanation for what has been going on in the other two books. I liked this one best, it felt slightly less cut and closed as the previous two books and the start especially I found gripping. I think I would recommend starting with this one. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Of the books in the Changes trilogy, I think this one was my favorite. It's a bit funnier than the other two, but also larger in scope in some ways. When the books were originally published, this was the first book, with Heartsease and The Devil's Children following, but the books were published in reverse chronological order, and depending on the edition this is listed as either the first book or the last in the trilogy. I haven't read them in publication order, but I think I rather like having Of the books in the Changes trilogy, I think this one was my favorite. It's a bit funnier than the other two, but also larger in scope in some ways. When the books were originally published, this was the first book, with Heartsease and The Devil's Children following, but the books were published in reverse chronological order, and depending on the edition this is listed as either the first book or the last in the trilogy. I haven't read them in publication order, but I think I rather like having this be the last in the trilogy, rather than the first, mainly because it explains the mystery of what has caused the Changes. I suspect the other two books wouldn't be as fascinating without that ever-present question.

  17. 4 out of 5

    AS

    One of my fondest memories of childhood. I’ve read it a dozen times and actually I think I enjoyed this last time, after a break of maybe 15 years, the most. It’s a very well put-together young adult’s post-war fantasy. With no vampires or soft porn, it’s a fast-paced adventure in a strange but familiar setting: a recognisable modern England made medieval by some mysterious magic that covers the British Isles. The heroes are two enviably practical kids, who fix motors and drive cars and cross th One of my fondest memories of childhood. I’ve read it a dozen times and actually I think I enjoyed this last time, after a break of maybe 15 years, the most. It’s a very well put-together young adult’s post-war fantasy. With no vampires or soft porn, it’s a fast-paced adventure in a strange but familiar setting: a recognisable modern England made medieval by some mysterious magic that covers the British Isles. The heroes are two enviably practical kids, who fix motors and drive cars and cross the Channel in a motor boat in a way that children these days almost never do. And of course Merlin is an addict and can drop weatherbombs whenever he gets the gripes! Excellent stuff.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    In the beginning, a little hard to follow with all the 1960s British language. Sometimes the transitions were abrupt and hard to follow also, but the book grew on me. I think middle-school children today would demand more than just glossing over subjects as this did--after all, this is the age of Harry Potter and more intricately working plots for children. However, it did find this imaginative and the ideas behind the book are universal and timeless.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jaq

    So I found this book in an op shop and read it as a standalone book - I now find out it's the final instalment in a trilogy..... I did enjoy this piece of vintage apocalypse fiction. It's certainly reminds me of the fantasy and science fiction that I cut my teeth on back in the 70's and early 80's. I did find that it was excessive on the tinkering with the car, but it was an entertaining tale. I will keep my eyes out for the other books. So I found this book in an op shop and read it as a standalone book - I now find out it's the final instalment in a trilogy..... I did enjoy this piece of vintage apocalypse fiction. It's certainly reminds me of the fantasy and science fiction that I cut my teeth on back in the 70's and early 80's. I did find that it was excessive on the tinkering with the car, but it was an entertaining tale. I will keep my eyes out for the other books.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Beck

    Intriguing little YA book. Holds up fairly well today and is perhaps most interesting in it's re-imagining of Britain as a society that has reverted back to the middle ages. The ending was a complete left-turn that I did not see coming at all which makes for a pleasant surprise. Peter Dickinson obviously had some ideas about 1960's England that he managed to incorporate into a rollicking children's adventure story. Might wait till my son is a little older to read this one to him! Intriguing little YA book. Holds up fairly well today and is perhaps most interesting in it's re-imagining of Britain as a society that has reverted back to the middle ages. The ending was a complete left-turn that I did not see coming at all which makes for a pleasant surprise. Peter Dickinson obviously had some ideas about 1960's England that he managed to incorporate into a rollicking children's adventure story. Might wait till my son is a little older to read this one to him!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bethnoir

    Started off with an intriguing premise and a sense of danger and adventure, but somehow, for me lost something as the story went on. Perhaps it was showing its age, or maybe the characterisation just didn't engage me enough, but I was glad it wasn't any longer by the time I'd reached the rather weird ending. It is a children's book and over 40 years old, so perhaps my expectations were too high. Started off with an intriguing premise and a sense of danger and adventure, but somehow, for me lost something as the story went on. Perhaps it was showing its age, or maybe the characterisation just didn't engage me enough, but I was glad it wasn't any longer by the time I'd reached the rather weird ending. It is a children's book and over 40 years old, so perhaps my expectations were too high.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    We are a house divided. Lydia and I, graciously, give it two stars. Noah, enthusiastically, gives it three. There were a couple of good bits. It's an interesting idea. We toiled through much of the story. Noah would like to read it again. Of the the three in the series, this was probably our favorite. We are a house divided. Lydia and I, graciously, give it two stars. Noah, enthusiastically, gives it three. There were a couple of good bits. It's an interesting idea. We toiled through much of the story. Noah would like to read it again. Of the the three in the series, this was probably our favorite.

  23. 5 out of 5

    David

    One of my favourites from my childhood - I have bought it again te re-read

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Oh my god, long and draggy and not the most satisfying ending to the trilogy. "Well, it just kind of happened" was the upshot. Sigh. Oh my god, long and draggy and not the most satisfying ending to the trilogy. "Well, it just kind of happened" was the upshot. Sigh.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Angela Randall

    We actually have the trilogy as one book The Changes: A Trilogy. We actually have the trilogy as one book The Changes: A Trilogy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Palmer

    Possibly my favourite children's/YA novel. One of very few I re-read - this one perhaps every year! Possibly my favourite children's/YA novel. One of very few I re-read - this one perhaps every year!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    I rather enjoyed it. It was a little old fashioned, but that was also part of the story, so it was fine. I'll have to see if I can get the other novels in the series. I rather enjoyed it. It was a little old fashioned, but that was also part of the story, so it was fine. I'll have to see if I can get the other novels in the series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robin Helweg-Larsen

    Linking modern Britain to the Britain of Merlin, a rich tale well told.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Daisy Madder

    Rereading the whole trilogy for the first time since I was a teenager, and they hold up pretty well.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    It started relatively enjoyably but for some reason by about three quarter through I just lost the thread and skimmed the last quarter.

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