An amazing achievement. [O’Carroll] brought these characters to life with complete success. I totally believed in them from the start, and they became so real to me that even now I feel I know them, and I find myself wondering how they are getting on.
The chess scenes are absolutely compelling: I was craving more of them. But there are dozens and dozens of great scenes: the Chapel of the spirits, the fight in the nightclub, getting lost in the "bush" and meeting Matteo, the first visit to the commune, the oral exam at the University, Seb’s only-semi-successful attempt to meditate!
After I finished it I did a kind of mental stocktake, to see whether I was selling myself out in the life choices I have made in the last decade or two, or whether I have stayed true to the things I believe in, and I found that a very worthwhile exercise.
(John Marsden, Bestselling author of Tomorrow, When the War Began)
More praise to come...