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The Nest has received so much acclaim and attention I thought it worth checking out. It is rather reminiscent of 'Skellig', a favourite book, although it lacks the allegory, mysticism and nuanced empathy. I appreciated the 'real' family relationships, the roles each character played. However, the central tenet, the deal struck between our protagonist and the 'Queen' wasp, was never fully explained. The confrontation, the climax of the story, was rather drawn out and ill considered in my opinion; would parents really leave their very ill, recently returned from hospital, facing a transplant, possibly terminal, newborn baby in the care of an older child? And for that period of time? I feel it very unlikely... However, if your child is of strong stuff (rather like the web) and can stomach a full, hammer blowing, denouement, this is the story!
I thought I will enjoy reading a fantasy novel for pre teens, this was too complicated and weird. I guess there is a great opportunity to learn about wasps and other biological facts round them, but I just could not see the point of the book. I was not sure if the parents were also OCD.
Kenneth Oppel's story had the kids intrigued to the end. Jon Klassen's cover and inside art set the mood. Only quibble is that the quality of paper inside - newsprint-ish - did not match the quality of the cover - beautifully printed acetate wrap.
An excellent choice for a middle school student or as a class read aloud. Very scary! The premise of the book is bizarre but so plausible, in the way Kenneth Oppel has crafted the plot. Childhood nightmares, a wasp's nest, a sinister knife sharpener and a young protagonist who wants his baby brother to be "normal", are all interwoven in this fantastic story!