Sunday, March 29, 2009

Varjak Paw by SF Said

I am not a fan of cats so I never seek out books about cats or books with cats as central characters and I especially avoid books with cats on the front cover but all this has changed as I have just devoured Varjak Paw. Our hero, Varjak Paw, is a Mesopotamian Blue the youngest member of a family of cats with names that curiously all start with J – Julius, Jay, Jethro, Jerome, Jalal, and Juni. Varjak is different because his eyes are the ‘wrong colour’ so we know right from the opening scenes that he is destined for greatness. Only Varjak can save his family but first he must venture into the unknown city, find a ‘dog’ and learn the seven skills in the Way of Jalal. These skills are communicated in Varjak vivid dreams.

This is not a book for the fainthearted as the battle scenes towards the end when the cats fight against two robot cats are very graphic and vicious. These robot cats are part of an evil conspiracy where real cats regularly vanish and are changed into robots using the body of the cat so they look eerily life-like. You can read more about this series at

The illustrations and white space all added to my enjoyment of this very different futuristic tale. I would recommend this to students in Years 4-6.

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