Wednesday, 3 October 2018


Raven by Jeremy Burnham and Trevor Ray
Jeremy Burnham & Trevor Ray
Corgi Carousel

A young tearaway on probation from a young offenders' institution, is sent to stay with a wheelchair-bound archaeologist who is trying to save some ancient underground caves from being used as a nuclear waste dumping ground.. Legend has it that the caves were once occupied by King Arthur, and when Raven joins the archaeologist's campaign, he begins to believe he is the reincarnation of Arthur, and the future of the caves depends on him.

From the guys behind the 'Children of the Stones' TV series and book, 'Raven' was another slice of rural horror drenched in megalithic lore and, in this case, Arthurian legend.

Raven is a young man with a chequered past on release from Borstal and roped into helping the crotchety old Professor Young protect an archaeologically significant cave system from becoming a dumping ground for nuclear waste.

The story is kind of a muddle with the Arthurian elements being particularly underdeveloped and feeling at best a little tacked on in order to make the whole protection of the land angle work. And work it does but it needed more room to introduce and develop the various aspects such as just who the other members of the round table (or in this case stone circle) are and what exactly did happen with the professor and the bird.

As this is the accompanying novel to the TV series (which I've not seen) I'm going to assume many of these issues were carried over from budgetary constraints relating to the filmed version but then surely the novelisation would have provided an opportunity to address and repair but evidently not.

If it sounds like I'm giving this a bit of a pasting then please know that I did enjoy it.  It's an entertaining little thing but a flawed one that has left me quite keen to track down the series so I can compare the two.

Buy it here - Raven


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