Reviews for Gorgon's Gaze
Booklist Reviews 2008 January #1
The second installment in the Companions Quartet moves along at a brisk pace. Connie, a rare and powerful Universal companion, is taken away to live in isolation with a great-aunt who is adamantly opposed to the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures. Meantime, the evil Kullervo manipulates Connie's friend Col into furthering the shape-shifter's deadly schemes. Readers who enjoyed book one will welcome the second helping of Golding's conservation-minded storytelling and multidimensional characters. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2007 September #1
Epic in structure but gentle in vibe, this series about mythical creatures now shifts from one primary perspective to two. Connie's a "universal" companion to all creatures inaccurately considered fictional (selkies, wood sprites, etc.); her friend Col is companion to pegasi. When strict relatives whisk Connie away to another town, forbidding contact with the secret Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures, evil shapeshifter Kullervo kidnaps Col to lure Connie into danger. Kullervo seeks to destroy humankind, but Golding adds a level of complexity through Kullervo's claim that humans deserve annihilation for polluting the earth. A local political clash (an oil refinery wants a road built through an ancient forest) blends with the Kullervo battle, involving eco-activists and townspeople oblivious to the mythical creatures in their midst. Like last time, Golding ends this installment with closure rather than suspense, though Kullervo will clearly be back soon. Set in two coastal English towns and the woods between them, this pleasantly earnest series will appeal especially to fans of golden dragons and human-animal bonding. (Fantasy. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2008 January
This second book of the Companion's Quartet series, has Connie uprooted from her aunt Evelyn's home and placed with her great-aunt Godiva and great-uncle Hugh. Godiva is determined to break the bonds the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures has on Connie. Connie's friend and Evelyn are also members of the secret society, but Connie is a rare member of the highest order; she is able to bond with all the mythical creatures. The mythical creatures are in danger when the ancient forest around Hescombe, England, is scheduled to be bulldozed. The Society is planning an attack when Connie is kidnapped by the evil shape-shifter, Kulvero. Connie users her powers as a universal to escape, but the ensuing battle takes all Connie's power to escape the clutches of Kulvero and free her friends and creatures. Connie doesn't kill Kulvero when she has the chance, which leaves more adventure for fans in the next installment. Julia Golding infuses this book with warm and caring friendships, mystery and adventure, and an awareness and concern for the environment and animals. This will be an enjoyable fantasy for many, but especially for those with an interest in animals and environmentalism. Recommended. Leslie Schoenherr, Librarian, Lexington (Massachusetts) Christian Academy © 2008 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
VOYA Reviews 2007 December
Eleven-year-old Connie Lionheart is in trouble. As the world's only universal companion-able to bond with all types of mythical creatures still secretly inhabiting the world, rather than just one species-she is vital to the Society of companions' efforts to protect these creatures. Connie's great-aunt, Godiva, is determined, however, to beat such "nonsense" out of her, virtually imprisoning Connie and isolating her from the Society. Meanwhile a new threat to local mythical creatures arises when an oil refinery plans to cut a road through the creatures' ancient woodland home. Connie's nemesis, the evil, shape-shifting Kullervo, plans to use the devastation to further his two goals: ridding the world of humans and seducing Connie (and her powers) to his side. Will Connie fall into his trap The second book in The Companions Quartet is stronger than the first, with plenty of action, lyrical writing, a strong environmental message, and a plucky heroine. Although the characters are somewhat stock (particularly Godiva), they wrestle with ambiguous feelings as readers also may. For example, although readers might not approve of Kullervo's methods, they could sympathize with his cause. The book has two issues, however. First the universal companions' extra magic is confusing and does not quite fit in the book's world. Readers new to the series could flounder in the plethora of characters and creatures. Still this lively, descriptive, and exciting fantasy for middle-grade readers should have wide appeal. Recommend it to young Percy Jackson and the Olympians fans.-Rebecca Moore 4Q 4P M Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.