I hadn’t read this book since I was nine and it was my favourite book ever, but yesterday I started to read it for some comfort reading. It was much better than I remembered, and I really enjoyed it.

Dakota, a determined young girl, lives in the ancient White Flats with her mum, her friend Treacle, and her suspicious lodger. Her life gets stranger as she befriends an ageing actress named Medusa and her jewel-encrusted turtle. When the turtle goes missing, Dakota and Treacle and her silverfish Minty must go to find it, over a black river full of mutant eels to the highly sterile fortress of recluse writer Lassiter Peach… but is that his real name? And what is the story behind the fact that Dakota’s mother never leaves her armchair. And all this is just when you thought that it couldn’t get any stranger…

I really enjoyed Dakota of the White Flats. It was surreal and strange and dark, but there were funny moments too and everything is just about believable. It is fantasy at it’s best. There were hundreds of little back stories which all fitted together in the end in a very satisfying way, and Philip Ridley wastes no time getting to the action straight away. All of the characters were well developed and about as much like real people as you can get. I liked the little touches like Minty the silverfish, and also all of the cunning plans that Dakota comes up with. The drawings are perfect for the book and really set the scene and I LOVE the front cover as well, as shown above. All in all a great book. Maybe at it’s best for someone a bit younger than me now, but pretty much perfect for all ages.

Genre: Urban / fantasy / surreal

Estimated reading age: Nine and up

Price on Amazon: Paperback £8.09, no Kindle edition.

Author: Philip Ridley

Main characters: Dakota, Dakota’s mum, Lassiter Peach, Treacle

Rating: ★★★★★ Really great book… good conclusion, good character building- good everything.