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Hood, Hugh.

Toronto, Stoddart, c1986. 295pp, paper, $14.95, ISBN 0-7737-5080-0. (The New Age #6). CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Frank Loreto

Volume 15 Number 1
1987 January

Perhaps I am being too demanding, but am I wrong to expect a plot in a book labelled as a novel? Hugh Hood's The Motor Boys in Ottawa is book six in his series, The New Age. He plans to have twelve novels once this series is completed.

Not having read any of the earlier books in The New Age, I found The Motor Boys in Ottawa confusing, disjointed , lacking in any depth of character, and vague in story-line. One assumes that the characters (especially the one who dies) are introduced earlier in the series. Because of this, the reader of The Motor Boys in Ottawa must be patient as the book takes a long time to come together. When it finally does, it ends, to be continued in book seven.

The major strength of the novel lies in its historical look at the sixties. Hood's characters take part in and comment on political and cultural happenings of that busy decade in a manner that is quite readable. It is unlikely, however, that this aspect of the novel will captivate a high school reader. While Hood's long range plan is commendable, The. Motor Boys in Ottawa is not. The $14.95 could be better spent elsewhere.

Frank Loreto, St. Thomas Aquinas H.S., Bramalea. Ont.
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