Thursday 20 October 2022

The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat

The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat by Kate Temple (Lothian/Hachette Australia) Paperback RRP $16.99 ISBN 9780734 420909

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

A mysterious illness is making people speak ancient languages, eat strange foods, and eventually fall asleep without waking. Trilby and her mother must escape the city to a long-lost aunt’s faraway Lost in Time Antiques shop. When they arrive, Trilby’s mother falls into a deep sleep, and Trilby accidently inherits the job of Time Keeper. This is a dangerous position that endangers Trilby’s life. Trilby discovers that time is broken, and that it needs fixing. She journeys out into the Sea of Time to help save time itself and finds herself rescued and taken to an island where time stands still. There she battles the evil Mr Colin who heads the Office of the Ministry of the board of the department of the Appropriate Division for the committee of the commission for the Corporation of the Agency of the Association for Managers Administering Time. Trilby evades evil office workers, endures swashbuckling sea chases, and uses her love of crosswords to save herself and solve the time mystery.

The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat is Kate Temple’s first solo book. Temple is part of the duo that created Bin Chicken, Yours Truly, Alice Toolie, and the Underdog series. Her humour, wit, and clever way of thinking is woven throughout the text which makes this book highly appealing and original. The pace is lively and the adventures that Trilby undertakes are not only time-twisting but reader-engaging and unique. Her world building is believable, imaginative, and well supported throughout the text. ‘It’s not where they came from, it’s when.’ The protagonist Trilby Moffat is brilliantly captured not only for her ordinariness but also her quirkiness. Her characterisation is consistent, and the dialogue fulfills so many different purposes – characterisation, setting and plot. ‘What do you want, Mr Colin? What exactly do you want?’ ‘The key. And since I can’t get it off you, I have two options left. Killing you…or employing you, which will it be?’ Because Trilby is an ordinary girl embarking on dangerous adventures this book is a perfect fit with its readership.

This is NOT just any old book. THIS is a legal document. The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat is a fantastical fantasy middle grade read for any gender. This is a beautifully crafted, well researched book, that has well rounded characters. It’s the first book in a series and it most certainly has created an interest for more books. I can even picture this book as a movie.

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