*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and Zoé of Zooloo’s Book Tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Hearing voices when no one is talking to you is a bad sign right? When twelve year old Tyler follows the calls of his name into the burnt out house on the roundabout, and finds a golden lizard called Midas, his luck appears to have changed for the better. Right?
Suitable for ages 10 to 110.
Listed as being middle-grade upwards, I will confess that parts of this novel had me – a grown adult – unnerved!
Tyler, the main character, lives alone with his mum and all he wants is a pet lizard, but they are struggling for money and have to dumpster-dive to make ends meet as it is. So when he finds a strange little golden lizard, Tyler thinks his luck has changed. But you remember that saying about being careful what you wish for?!
The author paints an authentic and moving picture of the relationship between Tyler and his mum from the start, showing how they work as a team and support each other through all of their hardships and struggles, so it is both fascinating and heart-breaking to see how quickly the advent of Midas and the ‘blessings’ he brings can tear that relationship apart and bring it to breaking point. I felt all of Tyler’s anxiety as things began to inexorably go wrong and just couldn’t see how he would ever be able to put things right or get out of the mess he had (inadvertently) made.
The eventual conclusion is not just satisfying in terms of plot, but retains an underlying realism too, as the consequences for Tyler’s actions remained for him to deal with, and relationships still needed to be rebuilt after the broken trust. The whole story is an excellent analogy for the pulling-away from parents and external pressures from friends that come with adolescence, especially when said friend/s could definitely be considered ‘a bad crowd’!
Fans of teen/YA horror-fantasy (Point Horror, Goosebumps etc) will enjoy this dark tale of the dangers of taking the – apparently – easy route to your heart’s desire!
‘Basking on the windowsill of the unboarded rear window is a lizard. A golden lizard. It looks like an adult bearded dragon except the extrusions which should point down from its chin and neck are on its head, pointing upwards making it look like it is wearing a crown. Its scales are a pure gold colour like it has been painted or covered in gold leaf. Maybe they were reflecting the sun? Every few seconds or so it seems to disappear, leaving only a golden outline of its form before winking completely out of sight. It then reappears in full, scale by scale, starting from the tip of its stout snout to the end of its long whip like tail. The tail twitches when in full view which seems to communicate a low level of annoyance.’– Alan Meredith, Midas
Alan Meredith lives in sleepy West Sussex with his wife and two children. He relocated there after suffering a psychosis back in 2000. Writing stories was a childhood love that he lost as he mistakenly believed that imagination had no place in the grown up world.
He likes taking reality and weaving fantastical elements into it. Alan’s writing reflects his belief that life is a journey of highs and lows and the idea that ‘life should be fair’ is an unrealistic expectation to give anyone, especially kids. If you are looking for the sugar coated ‘Happy Ever After’ you have come to the wrong place.
Midas is available on Amazon right now!
Don’t forget to check out the other blog stops on the tour for more great reviews and content (see the posters below for details)!