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published: Oct 2014
ISBN:9781459808850

Devil's Pass Unabridged Audiobook

by Sigmund Brouwer, narrator Mike Casey

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mysteries & detective stories, music
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $29.95
published: Oct 2014
ISBN:9781459808850
Description

Seventeen-year-old Webb's abusive stepfather has made it impossible for him to live at home, so Webb survives on the streets of Toronto by busking with his guitar and working as a dishwasher. When Webb's grandfather dies, his will stipulates that his grandsons fulfill specific requests. Webb's task takes him to the Canol Trail in Canada's Far North, where he finds out that there are much scarier things than the cold and the occasional grizzly bear. With an Indigenous guide, two German tourists and his guitar for company, Webb is forced to confront terrible events in his grandfather's past and somehow deal with the pain and confusion of his own life.

Webb's adventures start in Barracuda, part of The Seven Prequels and continue in Tin Soldier, part of The Seven Sequels.
Runtime 4.5 hours on 4 CDs.

About the Authors
Sigmund Brouwer is the author of over 20 novels for adults and dozens of books for children. He visits over 150 schools per year to deliver his Rock and Roll Literacy presentation, reaching about 60,000 students per year. Sigmund lives in Red Deer, Alberta. For more information, visit www.sigmundbrouwer.com.
Author profile page >

Mike Casey is a voice actor who has narrated two titles from Orca's Seven series.
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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
9 to 12
Grade:
4 to 7
Reading age:
9 to 12

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Devil’s Pass Seven: the series

Seven boys all carrying out tasks left to them by one grandfather, seven stories told by seven authors, seven books published on the same day (October 10, 2012) — it’s an ambitious plan hatched by author Eric Walters, executed by him and six other noted authors along with Orca Book Publishers. And, like the adventures of the seven cousins, it proves an intriguing success.

The premise of the Seven series is that, on his death, a grandfather leaves his seven grandsons (all aged 15 to 17) tasks to fulfill for him. Six of them meet in his lawyer’s office to view a video where he talks to the boys and briefly describes their tasks. The seventh cousin, whom none of the others are aware of, sees the video when he returns from a month at a camp for troubled teens. All are given the funds, airplane tickets, guides (where needed) and other means to accomplish their jobs, but each is to do it on his own without parents.

Walters wrote the initial scene in the lawyer’s office but each writer describes it from his or her character’s point of view — responsible, resentful, cocky, absent-minded, puzzled, aloof — depending both on their personality and their own relationship with the adventurous, gregarious and successful man. From there, each writer takes off on their own tale.

Twins Steve and DJ have an uneasy relationship. Steve (created by Eric Walters) is the ever responsible, older (by 15 minutes), athletic and confident one who is asked to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and scatter his grandfather’s ashes — a task he expects to accomplish easily. DJ (created by John Wilson) is resentful of his older brother but also relies on him. He goes to Spain to find the journal his grandfather kept as a young fighter with the Mackenzie Papineau Battalion in the Spanish Civil War and gets a sobering lesson in history as well as a European holiday and a bit of romance. Throughout these two stories, the brothers keep in contact by texting — and their comments influence each other’s actions.

Another pair of cousins, brothers Spencer and Bunny, have a different kind of relationship. Destined for film school, Ted Staunton’s Spencer is constantly watching movies and is not particularly interested in the world around him. He does, however, keep an eye out for 15-year-old Bunny. Bunny (aka Bernard) is strong with lightning fast reflexes, but has many learning disabilities. His story, crafted by Richard Scrimger, is told in his own unique spelling and style. (“By now Nikki was frowning like the way evry 1 does at me. Not meen but tired you no?... Guys do that even if they all reddy no Im a dummy. Not Spencer but evry 1 els.”)

Spencer is asked to find his grandfather’s favourite movie star — a 90-something actress — and film himself giving her a kiss. Bunny is asked to get a tattoo — the one his grandfather’s flying squad shared. Spencer’s task looks dull but ends up as a rollicking trip to northern Ontario with the aging star, her granddaughter, a Chihuahua and a criminal bakery owner with several unsavoury characters in hot pursuit. In the meantime, Bunny gets the wrong tattoo, one that identifies him as a gang member and a killer, and he gets caught up in a gun/drug exchange without realizing it. His text and phone exchanges with Spencer propel the plots of both books — and lend an underlying soberness to the funny elements of Staunton’s tale.

The other cousins are all only children. Although Shane Peacock’s Adam describes himself as the very ordinary child of high achieving parents and the terrified-of-flying grandchild of a WWII pilot/hero, he also has an abrasiveness and cockiness that make him not always likeable, but certainly very human. He is asked to deal with unfin- ished business (some of which his grandfather is ashamed of) from the old man’s WWII days flying over France. He wants to look like a hero himself, but can he?

Norah McClintock’s Rennie, the grandson unknown to his cousins, is grappling with his mother’s horrible death and his own anger and self-blame, while being constantly at loggerheads with his military father. He must take a journal to Iceland, where his grandfather’s plane crashed in 1942. In doing so, he uncovers long ago secrets — and very recent secrets which a killer definitely does not want him to know. Getting away alive will mean marshalling his anger, his stubbornness and his considerable survival skills.

Sigmund Brouwer’s Webb, a talented musician eking out a living that barely keeps him off the streets, is estranged from his mother and stepfather. He is asked to hike part of the western Arctic’s Canol Trail, on which his grandfather worked as a teen, to bring closure to a long ago tragedy. The dangers include a grizzly bear, unfriendly tourists and a violent resident of the North, but none are as terrifying as Webb’s stepfather, a truly evil man. Making it through his task will give Webb the strength to deal with the rest of his life.

We all have known and loved series written by one author where we follow characters through different adventures. Several authors have experimented successfully with a series of books covering the same story as told by different characters. Ted Staunton did it in charming Monkey Mountain series for younger readers and Jessica Scott Kerrin recently introduced readers to the characters of her new series The Lobster Chronicles. The fun for authors such as Staunton and Kerrin is in finding different voices, sometimes different writing styles and giving us intriguing insights into different points of view. But no matter what surprises the changes in viewpoint offer, the same author is in control — whether the story is told in the first person present tense by a very active boy or in the third person past tense by a tough but thoughtful girl.

The Seven series takes more risks in this regard. Here we have seven authors — each with their own style, their own tone and, of course, their own very different tasks and plots. A reader expecting a certain familiarity from book to book will be surprised by how varied they are. This, however, is also what makes the series intriguing. Like looking through a kaleidoscope, the shift in perspective from book to book offers different (and not always positive) views of the grandfather and the past, as well as a different and exciting adventure, mystery or journey of discovery for the seven protagonists.

One happy effect of the series, of course, is that it may encourage readers familiar with one author to discover six other excellent writers and their books. Every reader will doubtless have his or her own favourite among the seven titles, but all will find an intriguing package of books to savour. Kudos to Orca and the seven authors for taking on this fascinating challenge and rising to the occasion.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2012. Volume 35 No. 4.

Other Titles by Sigmund Brouwer

Timberwolf Prey

Timberwolf Prey

by Sigmund Brouwer
illustrated by Graham Ross
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Oil King Courage

Oil King Courage

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
More Info
Timberwolf Rivals

Timberwolf Rivals

by Sigmund Brouwer
illustrated by Graham Ross
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
More Info
Maverick Mania

Maverick Mania

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Other Titles by Mike Casey

Tin Soldier Unabridged Audiobook

Tin Soldier Unabridged Audiobook

More Info

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