Defenders Pitch Invasion
Author: Tom Palmer
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Reading Age: 8-12
Reviewed by: Sandra Scholes
You may notice something different about this new series of novels if you are not familiar with them, these are part of the Conkers List. The point of the Conkers list was to provide children with illustrated, beautifully designed and high quality fiction from author and illustrator teams.
The Defenders novels star Seth who is a kid who can see into the past. The previous two novels, Defenders Killing Ground and Defenders Dark Arena are out now and provide the first two stories of how his adventure starts and continues. Defenders Pitch Invasion is the darkest and last in the series.
Seth is haunted by visions of the past and as well as playing his favorite footie games he does a bit of sleuthing on the side but it doesn't always work out for him as his mum has been ill and waits for her test results.
This is a real lads novel that mixes footie, horror and a keen bit of detective work in Seth's part. In Defenders Pitch Invasion, the word defender has two meanings; the football term for it and that him and his best friend Nadia are defenders of the present and the past. Together they have had an interesting few months solving crimes from the past. Now they have to solve the ultimate puzzle;
There were several things I enjoyed about this story: the characters, the fact Seth's mother knows he can see ghosts and finds it fascinating. A trip to Cornwall is well needed for him and his mum but it's where he finds his next mystery; he keeps seeing the ghosts of heads on spikes and Nadiya thinks they could be linked to an old Roman settlement with refugees desperate to flee.