17th April '19
I have waited so long for this book to be released after seeing it on Twitter, so when I happened across it in Waterstones, I was over the moon! You can definitely judge a book by its cover here as it it gorgeous and sets the atmosphere perfectly.
One thing I really liked about this novel is that there was no single protagonist (in my opinion), but was really well balanced between Pog, Penny and David, which gave the story a well rounded feel. The reader gets some level of description about Pog but not too much: I don't know if this is intentional but I liked it as with characters like this, I think we need to be given room for our imagination to conjure them up in our minds without being told everything in minute detail. Dad plays a big part too, though we get more of a sense of him through the other characters, rather than in his own right.
The themes of loneliness and grief are centrepiece in Pog as is the importance of friendship. I think it's fantastic how Kenny reflects different reactions to a loss, from Penny's attempts to force optimism and support David and Dad, Dad's ignorance of the situation (in that he is trying to act normal) and David's deepening anger. It is beautiful how Pog isn't a magical saviour either but shrouded in his own grief and pain and learns to rely on the children. The storyline itself is fast paced and excited, holding back its secrets until the perfect moment for their reveal and there is magic, mystery and atmospheric description throughout.
What really stood out for me, however, is the language used throughout the novel. Kenny doesn't talk down to his intended audience and while an easy read, with words such as arboreal, echelons and rivulets, this book is a must have to extend and challenge children's vocabulary. Every page is littered with exciting language, which enhances the story no end.
Overall, Pog is a poignant tale that is full of bravery, compassion and action packed fantasy. I was on the edge of my seat, desperate to find out what would become of Pog and the children as they battled to protect the Necessary and keep out the nasties. I adore the word Greebledies, a name for one of the enemies faced! The ending was touching and a perfect finish to an absolutely stunning novel. I can't wait to get back to the book shop and pick up Kenny's debut novel, Tin, as a result.