Monday, 12 December 2011

Timothée de Fombelle - Toby Alone

Title: Toby Alone (Tobie Lolness, book 1)
Original title: La Vie suspendue (Tobie Lolness, tome 1)
Author: Timothée de Fombelle
Pub. year: 2007
Pages: 400
Editor: Walker

Summary: Toby Lolness is just one and a half millimetres tall, and he’s the most wanted person in his world, the great oak Tree. When Toby’s father makes a ground-breaking discovery, tapping into the very heart of the Tree’s energy, he also realises that exploiting it could do permanent damage to their world. Refusing to reveal the secret of his invention to an enraged community, the family is exiled. But one man is determined to get hold of the forbidden knowledge ... and his plan is to destroy the Tree. Now Toby's parents have been imprisoned and sentenced to death. Only Toby has managed to escape, but for how long?

Toby Lolness is a two-parts saga that takes very little time to read. I've read each of these books in a few days only, maybe less.

This first book introduces us Toby, a 13 years old boy, who lives in the Tree. But the Tree is vast and a lot of tiny people live inside. There's the Treetop, the Lower Branches; the wise and kind people, the evil destructive people who are destroying the tree; and Toby, running for his life, after his parents have been imprisoned. Toby, trying to guess who is on his side, who is trying to catch him, and how to survive alone in the Tree, with almost everybody looking for him from the top to the roots. Luckily, he is not exactly alone all the way and he is full of resources!

Toby Lolness is a story about family, ecology, friendship, love, death, acceptance and so much more. But don't make the mistake to think that it's only a children book, for you can appreciate it even as grown-up. It's not patronizing, as some might be. It's just a story of a young teenager forced to leave his home, going even as far as the Ground Beyond, trying to live his life and saving his family while staying optimistic and hopeful.

After reading this book, you'll probably want to read the sequel (Toby and the Secrets of the Tree), so maybe you should aquire the two in one go. Like I said, it's a really fast reading so you can easily read them one after the other.

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