Tag: Douglas Hill

Melleron’s Magic

Melleron’s Magic ill. Steve Hutton (Oxford University Press, 2000) While Melleron’s monster friends are quite memorable, Melleron himself has precious little personality or agency. The fantasy setting lacks depth and development. The villainous magician and his hench-monsters evince evil without motivation. A lacklustre offering from a writer capable of much more.

Penelope’s Pendant

Penelope’s Pendant by Douglas Hill; ill. Annabel Spenceley (Macmillan, 1990) A tale of malfunctioning magic and unexpected consequences, given real narrative impetus by the escalating threat of violence. Hill comes obliquely at the underlying moral (consider possible outcomes) while doling out some much-needed, cathartic comeuppance to Penelope’s tormentors. A short, exciting read.

Day of the Starwind

Day of the Starwind by Douglas Hill (Victor Gollancz, 1980) Book three of the Last Legionary quartet sees Keill Randor edge closer to the shadowy Warlord who masterminded his planet’s destruction. Hill has a knack for upping the stakes, pitting his protagonist against ever more serious threats. Clear, fast-moving middle-grade action SF.    

Demon Stalkers: Prey

Demon Stalkers: Prey by Douglas Hill (MacMillan, 2008) A fast-moving mix of supernatural horror and YA adventure. Hill includes some dark real-world elements—homelessness, abandonment, torture, sadism—but does so for purposes of realism, not shock value. His protagonist is not without flaws, yet maintains a sense of morality throughout.    

Deathwing Over Veynaa

Deathwing Over Veynaa by Douglas Hill (Victor Gollancz, 1980) Middle-grade science fiction. Book two of Hill’s Last Legionary quartet/quintet succeeds admirably as both a standalone novel and a progression of the series. Hill’s characterisation may be unambiguous but he knows how to keep a story moving. An exciting single-sitting action adventure.    

Exiles of ColSec

Exiles of ColSec by Douglas Hill (Victor Gollancz, 1984) At bit clumsy at the outset and rushed in its conclusion, but otherwise an exciting piece of middle-grade SF. Hill moves from a plausible near-future dystopia into a story of castaway survival on a new planet. Distinctive characters, decent representation, accomplished world-building.