Review: The Lost Cave of Corinna by Greta Kerschbaum – An Adventure Fantasy Tale Helping to Save the Devils

I first read this amazing novel late last year and absolutely enjoyed it, and I recently re-read it and loved it just as much, so I thought I would share my review here with you. Below is an extract of my  review that I published on Amazon.

A percentage of the profits from this book is being donated by the author to the Save The Tasmanian Devil Appeal.

Synopsis

Twelve year old Tom is spending his summer holiday in what he thinks is a boring seaside town. But an accident leads to his transformation and a journey of survival in the dangerous and sometimes magical world of the Tasmanian bush. If Tom wants to return home, he must follow the call that will lead him to the mythical Lost Cave. But Tom is now on the menu for anything with fangs and claws, and that’s how he meets Dibley, a hungry Tasmanian Devil. Will Dibley overcome his natural instinct to eat Tom and join him on his journey to find the Lost Cave?

My Review

Tom travels to Tasmania for a holiday with his aunt and uncle. When Tom goes fishing with his uncle, he is told an old tale about the mad gene in his family, and how a great uncle claimed to be able to talk to animals. Tom then starts to hear a haunting call that draws him in, and after he has a serious accident, he finds he can talk to the animals himself because he has been transformed (how and into what I will not say!). Tom then meets the all-knowing and cryptic Nini who explains to him he needs to find the Lost Cave where he will find the creature that is calling to him and who might be able to help him go back to the way he was. And so Tom begins his long and dangerous journey through the Australian bush. Along the way, Tom meets a number of native animals, including a grumpy old Tasmanian devil called Dibley, who is suffering from the very real fatal cancerous disease. Tom’s experiences with each one of these animals on his journey to the Lost Cave clearly shows the damaging effect humans have on them and their environment. Tom also meets some not so native animals and his frightening encounters with them also shows what effect these animals have on Australia’s habitat and wildlife.

The Lost Cave Of Corinna is beautifully written and Ms Kerschbaum’s writing is descriptive and polished. The storyline is very intriguing and the different plot twists along the way keep you interested all the way through. The story is very captivating and I was so engrossed in this book that I was very reluctant to put it down.

I loved the descriptions of the surrounding bush landscape in the story. Ms Kerschbaum writes about the sights, sounds and smells of the bush, and it brought back many memories for me about my times in Tasmania. I also loved the portrayals of the different animals in the story. Ms Kerschbaum has described each animal’s personality even better than I imagined them to be, and their behaviour is epitomised beautifully. Every animal was aptly depicted not just in what they looked like, but how they behaved, how they smelled, what they felt like. After reading this book, you will find yourself looking at these animals with a new perspective. Admittedly, I do have a soft spot for the character of Dibley, the Tasmanian devil, but I also loved the other animals Tom met, including one very entertaining wombat.

As well as being a children’s fantasy adventure story, The Lost Cave Of Corinna addresses a number of underlying issues that are important for everyone to know about, no matter where you live. The story is a perfect way for kids to understand these issues and they are dealt with in a subtle manner so that they are important angles of the development of the story. Beneath the storyline, you will discover issues such as how feral animals and domestic animals have an effect on Australia’s wildlife; how the use of chemical poison affects the habitat and the animals that reside there; what happens to the animals and the environment when land is developed for human use; and how far reaching the effects of pollution can be. You will also find within this book elements of trust, friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, survival, justice, sacrifice, loss, healing, and having to face your fears. But most of all, we learn from this book that change is possible and there is always hope.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you anxious, it will keep you in suspense, it will keep you enthralled with its magic and mystery. The Lost Cave Of Corinna will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. It will definitely appeal to everyone – young and old. It even includes a few beautiful black and white illustrations of native animals. If you relish reading stories that are full of adventure, fantasy, mystery, myth and magic, you will enjoy this book. If you love animals and the environment, you will revel in this book. If you savour all things Tasmanian (or even Australian), you will love this book.

So get yourself a copy of The Lost Cave of Corinna and join Tom on his fascinating journey to the Lost Cave and see the world in a new light.

 

Buy this book on Amazon.com – paperback version only for $7.99AUD. The book is also available at many bookstores in Hobart and from some online stores.

A percentage of the profits from this book is being donated by the author to the Save The Tasmanian Devil Appeal.

 

Experience the adventure of your local wildlife!

If you love spotting wildlife and taking photos read on to discover an app that is not only fun but educational and assists wildlife researchers!

Questagame is an app for your smart phone that gets you outdoors and taking photographs while helping to discover all sorts of wildlife with the bonus of mapping their locations.

It’s an innovative app that doesn’t really feel like a game. It’s fun, entertaining and educational, and kids and adults alike will love it!

The app takes you outside to your backyard, a local park, the beach, on a hike, anywhere you can think of where there’s wildlife. Photograph the animals and plants you see, then submit them to be included in your collection and added to your country’s national database with their geographical location. You’ll not only be growing your wildlife collection, you’ll also be helping researchers, scientists, and others record your country’s biodiversity. How amazing is that?!

Once you register and set up your profile, you can start to submit wildlife photos. You can use the camera on your phone to take photos or upload photos to your phone. Simply upload the photo, choose the wildlife category, and if you know it, you can narrow down the species. There is also an option to write notes if you wish. Once you submit the photo it shows as pending until a verifier confirms the identification then your sighting is accepted. If you don’t know the exact species of wildlife, you can leave this section blank and a verifier will identify it for you. You’ll get a notification of what the animal is, some info about it, even a link to check out more about it. And you may even get a compliment or two from the verifier about your photo!

With each correct identification of wildlife you earn gold coins which can be used to purchase items in the shop, like more powerful binoculars to increase the speed of verification of species, or a larger backpack that can last a long time if you go on a quest, or perhaps you can afford a vehicle to drive long distances. There is even the capacity to share your wildlife finds on social media.

You can take and submit photos as much as you like, but if you feel like some company or have a competitive edge, why not try something a little different?

Quests are like mini competitions where you can join up and buy supplies from the shop to last you the length of the quest, and then you compete with the other members on the quest to see who can spot all the species listed within the time frame. The winner gets heaps of gold coins! There is also the ability to request a quest for your area and even to start your very own quest for others to join.

Don’t like to go out on your own? Join a clan! You’ll get the benefit of earning large amounts of gold coins when a large group goes on a quest and you can add their species to your collection as well.

If you’re a real competitive sort of person, you might want to try your hand with a head to head challenge where you go against one person to find certain species within an allotted timeframe.

The more photos you submit, the more gold you earn, increasing your levels, building your collection of species, and moving higher up the leader board to be the best wildlife adventurer in the country!

And if all this isn’t enough for you, within the app there is a button to go to QuestaLab which is a wildlife quiz you can take to earn more gold. It’s fast, fun and challenging! So far the quizzes I have done consist of bird photos with multiple choice answers for the correct identification. I love how every now and then they throw in a photo of a bird with possible scientific names to choose from – they’re hard at first if you don’t know your stuff, but it’s a great way to learn!

I’ve been using this app for awhile now and I absolutely love it! I’ve been using it to submit photos of animals and birds around home, but I’m really looking forward to using it when I next go on holidays. I even sent them an enquiry and was very surprised by the fast response time. The app is free and has no in app purchases, and it’s so easy to use. Above all, it’s a lot of fun and an excellent way to learn about the flora and fauna in your local area (yes, you can even submit photos of weeds, fungi and ferns!).

Questagame currently works in Australia, UK, USA, India, Mexico, New Zealand, UAE and the Netherlands, and more countries are being added all the time.

Watch this video from Questagame to see what it’s all about.

If you or your kids enjoy taking photographs and are interested in plants and animals, download Questagame for free (no in app purchases) from the Google Play Store and the App Store.

See you on your next wildlife adventure!