Hey guys, back after a weekend with family. Was itching to get back to reviews though, so I’m quite looking forward to this chapter. Just to recap, last time Max had opened the gate to the creepy statue garden and the clown statue inside it had moved. There was also the practically required family gathering bit, where we found that Mr Carver had discovered a projector and box of films.
The chapter starts by re-visiting the other discovery that Mr Carver made, that of two old bikes. Presumably an exploration of their new town then I suppose? As he’s helping his dad clean and oil them, it occurs to Max that these would have belonged to the previous owners and that they might have been for a bit of father-son bonding. A bit obvious, so I’m wondering how it only occurred to him while he was cleaning the bikes up, as opposed to when he first hears of them. Oh well, no matter. In any case, the bikes seem to have been left behind in order to avoid some of the more painful memories associated with the house. Max feels a bit guilty about using the bikes, but, as his dad reasons, the previous owners and their fate shouldn’t impact on what Max and his family do with them. A reasonable point of view, certainly. So Max intends to explore his new home town, but Mr Carver can’t come with him on this occasion. Before he leaves, Max asks his dad if he’s seen the statue garden behind the house before, to which he’s given an oddly vague answer which basically translates as no; maybe the dad will become important to solving whatever’s happening in the statue garden? In any case, Max sets off to explore. Much of what he finds is very much your typical seaside town: fish market, docks etc. He stops to have a rest at the quay, where he meets one of the town’s residents, a 16/17 year old boy who introduces himself as Roland. They talk a little about the house, with one rather awkward moment regarding Roland being called up to serve in the army, followed by Max being offered a guided tour. Seems awfully open with a newcomer, but I’ll ignore that for the moment.
They get to the town centre, with Max struggling to keep up. Overall, the town doesn’t sound especially exciting, seeing as it contains: a library that probably doesn’t have more than 60 books, a court house that isn’t used, a weekly market and screenings of old films in the summer. Granted, this is probably not all that unusual for the time it’s set in, but it does sound like somewhere you could quite easily go mad with boredom in.
As the tour goes on, Roland shows Max the cliffs to the south of the town where he lives with his adoptive grandfather who runs the lighthouse. There seems to be a bit of tension between Roland and his grandfather, which seems a bit odd, although it may just be teenage rebellion against authority now that I think about it. Oh well, we’ll presumably find out soon enough. As the tour comes to an end, Roland invites Max to come snorkelling with him around an old wreck at the bottom of the cliffs the following morning, which is quickly agreed to.
As he’s cycling back home, Max ends up caught in a storm, leaving him drenched to the bone and possibly providing us at home with a bit of pathetic fallacy. Max falls asleep and that is where our chapter ends.
Again, a good chapter, this time mainly for introducing the reader to the larger setting. Hopefully after this, the plot will ramp up a bit more, as there surely can’t be much more basic intro stuff left.