by Diana Wynne Jones Published by Greenwillow Books
on 1984 Pages:
The trouble started when Howard Sykes came home from school and found the "goon" sitting in the kitchen. He said he'd been sent by Archer. But who was Archer? It had to do with the 2,000 words that Howard's author father had failed to deliver.
It soon became clear not only that Archer wanted those words, but that his wizard siblings, Hathaway, Dillian, Shine, Torquil, Erskine, and Venturus, would also go to any lengths to get them.
Although each wizard ruled a section of the town, he or she was a prisoner in it. Each suspected that one of them held the secret behind the words, and that secret was the key to their freedom. Which one of them was it? The Sykes family become pawns in the wizards' fight to win their freedom, wrest control from one another, and fan out to rule the world.
Diana Wynne Jones skillfully guides the reader through a riveting, twisty plot, with satisfying surprises at every amazing turn. An exciting science fiction adventure where, happily, nothing is what it first seems to be.
Howard lives with his parents, his younger sister, and a girl named Fifi. His dad is well known writer and his mother a fantastic musician. And his younger sister goes by the nickname Awful – which is very much suitable for her.
Things are as normal as can be in a household with such dynamic personalities, until a huge goon shows up. Quentin, the father, has been writing two thousand words quarterly to a fellow named Mr. Mountjoy, but this last set has gone missing. Things start to go awry when he writes a sub-par set of words and then refuses to write anymore after visiting with Archer, the person who has supposedly been receiving these words.
What this family then finds out is that their town is being run by Archer and six of his siblings, each interesting in their own way and each wanting the two thousand words for themselves. But why?
There's more to this story than meets the eye. A whole underlying plot turns up at random times, surprising the reader and making everything all the more curiouser. I enjoyed the characters of this book and really the whole crazy world that surrounded the town.