This is an enthralling novel about hope and reclaimed childhood set amid a blistering spring in the lower-sixth. When Danny Canterbury begins his first year in the new sixth-form at St Plunket’s he encounters new student Cherry Trove who has transferred from a school across town. Immediately entranced by the alluring Cherry, he begins to plan how he can make his move to reach her inner circle.
When a global search gets underway for a missing child, it stirs dark memories for Danny and he realizes that his present adolescent dramas are nothing compared to the lost childhood innocence stolen from him when he was five years old. Memories of his childhood friend Robin Vernal’s disappearance come flooding back and he cannot escape the feeling there is more hidden in his past than he has admitted. Cherry partners with Danny to help him get closer to the truth over her vanishing. However as hope begins to reawaken, rejection looms. Can Danny summon the courage to uncover what really happened to his childhood companion?
Robin Vernal and the Brownleaf Spring uncovers a dark truth that hides behind Danny Canterbury’s pain. In this arresting third installment of Dominic Jericho’s coming-of-age saga, hope and despair intermingle until they face each other in a final confrontation, where all bets are off.
Point of view:
This is the 3rd book in the Danny Canterbury Tales sereis. I read the first book and listened to the second. I think anyone who jumps in with this one is likely to be a bit overwhelmed by the broad cast of characters, but I’m enjoying getting to know them all better. Either the author is honing his craft a bit more or I’m really starting to “get” his style as I enjoyed this one even more than the last one and didn’t feel like there were as many interactions that didn’t have a reason.
Note: I’ll admit I’m not familiar with how upper schools in the UK work. The students are 17 turning 18 as the story progresses – which would be the equivalent to a Senior in High School here in the US, but this seems to be more like something between what we’d consider high school and University. This lends the book almost more of a NA rather than YA feel.
A missing person’s case in Greece reopens Danny’s memories of his missing childhood friend, Robin Vernal. (I’m happy to see this as she was mentioned a few time in the first book, but I didn’t really understand why.) We get to continue to follow Danny’s school adventures, his deep friendship with Amanita & Timothy, and his new friendships with additional characters. Jericho does an amazing job of capturing this time of intense feelings and emotional & physical growth. While I sort of cringe at some of their behavior, it reflects the author’s ability to realistically portray some of the missteps of youth.
I liked the pace of this book much better and felt there was a nicer balance of suspense & action with smaller, more personal interactions. It was also nice to see so many interactions tied together with later occurrences in the book. The book does end on a bit of a cliffhanger and I’m looking forward to Sandi & Cherry’s story, Sandi Burrill and the Beach of Flames.
I liked Holly Holt’s narration much better than the narrator for the last book. She has a pleasant voice and did a fairly good job of giving the characters unique voices. She did have some mispronunciations, but nothing too distracting. I found it odd to select an American English narrator rather than someone with a British accent – though it’s possible that this contributed to me connecting with the story easier.
Note: There are some production issues that I don’t think belong to the narrator. Numerous times (like almost every chapter) there are instances of repeated phrases. Like she re-recorded or something and they weren’t edited out. Also, you can hear studio noise occasionally. I’m not sure if that’s something that can be cleaned up in the future, but it would be helpful.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
About the author:
Dominic Jericho is a writer of adult and young adult fiction. He’s been writing stories since before he was a teen himself. He started with a pencil on a scruffy notepad before rapidly buying up multiple packs of empty exercise books so he could fill them with ideas, lists, concepts and illustrations. He now writes all his novels on a shiny new laptop, which unfortunately has the annoying distraction of an internet connection.
You can connect with Dominic Jericho here: