Flyte Book Review, Angie Sage
The second book in my re-read of the Septimus Heap series. Again, nothing series, just for my own pleasure and a will to share the brilliance of some of the books I have read.
Flyte follows the newly acquainted ExtraOrdinary Apprentice, Septimus Heap, a year on from the events of Magyk. Simon has run off after an argument with his mother. However, he makes a quick return home to kidnap his sister, like you do. Septimus and Nicko set off to find their sister, with a bit of help of course. Simon seems to have discovered the lost art of flight (he’s a bit wobbly though). What more is in store for tribe Heap? Well, don’t let me tell you..
Flyte follows in much the same fashion as Magyk; the plot is fast moving and snappy, with many things going on at once. Again, this makes for a real page turner as we try to pre-empt and predict the plot – once again, this is no mean feat. Angie shows us more of her world in this one, as in Magyk our knowledge of where things were was fairly limited (in fact, we only really knew about two places; we move between the castle and the port) – we enter the Badlands, a desert like place where DomDaniel had haunted after Alther (didn’t) push him off of the wizard tower. The plot in Magyk is very focused, the majority of the characters are in the same place at once, and we follow their progress without much interjection. In Flyte however, Angie separates the main characters, so that we are forced to switch between them in the plot (*1). A lot of screen time (text?) is given to Septimus, as I think Angie wants to make it clear that he is the ‘main character’ in the books, as Magyk focused more on the Heaps in general. The challenges Septimus faces in Flyte are of a more physical nature, as a lot of what we saw of him in Magyk was him coming to terms with himself.
Angie takes a lot of effort to develop her characters in this book; especially Septimus itself. I think it works well that the others have their personalities portrayed in Magyk, as this gives more space for Angie to work on Septimus. It isn’t only Septimus that begins to emerge into himself a bit more though, we see another shade to Simon Heap as well – he really hasn’t taken to Septimus. We meet a range of new characters as well, such as Beetle from the Manuscriptorium. Others are Weasel Van Klampf (what a name), Jillie Djinn and another, hilarious character (you’ll have to read it for that one, although there’s a clue on the cover!). Marcia is still brilliant, but the sense of humour that Angie imparts to this latest companion is perfect. It suits him perfectly. There’s just.. something though. It’s not all as special as it was the first time around. Still worthwhile, just not the same. Almost like reading a book for the second time.
Again, Flyte is a brilliant read. I don’t think it’s quite as good as Magyk. It’s just too similar really, and whilst there’s definitely something to be said for sticking to a tried and tested formula, this is just a bit too samey. The jokes are different and the scenarios have changed, but it all feels the same. It’s a good book, don’t get me wrong, and it fits in well with the rest of the series. However, it would do well to feel a bit more different than Magyk. Angie uses the first two books to set the stage for the rest of the series, which is why Physik is a different kettle of sausages; so there’s a reason for it being done.
Well then, I think that due to it’s similarity to Magyk, I cannot rate it quite as highly, though it is just as good. Flyte gets a 7/10 for me. That’s not a bad score at all.
(*1) – Imagine the plot as a rope. Each strand that makes up the rope is a subplot; it contributes to the plot, and the plot would be weaker without it, alone it would be weak and uninteresting. Furthermore, a strand that is frayed and does not attach to the rope can be a ‘loose end’. I quite like this analogy (it is my own).