The Devil's Triangle, by Mark Robson

Patrick Mahon

Would-be author
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Feb 15, 2006
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Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.

As readers of the Chrons will know for themselves, Mark Robson is a one-man publishing phenomenon: a former RAF pilot who wrote and self-published his first fantasy series whilst on active service. Unlike many self-published novels, however, Robson's sold in sufficient numbers – largely due to his irrepressible enthusiasm and boundless energy at book signings – that he got picked up by a mainstream publisher. To date, Mark has published eleven books across three series, all of them young adult fantasy titles.


‘The Devil’s Triangle’ is the first in a new series, and is a major departure from his previous books, being a young adult science fiction story. It is set in contemporary America and explores the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, also known historically as the Devil’s Triangle.

The story starts as fourteen-year old twins Sam and Niamh, accompanied by their father Matt and by Sam’s best friend Callum, fly from Britain to Florida for their summer holiday. Callum quickly finds out that the others spend every summer in Florida, and have done ever since Sam’s mother mysteriously disappeared there nine years earlier. Though the twins have got over the loss of their mum, presuming her dead, their father hasn’t. Matt is obsessed with the idea that his wife became a victim of the Bermuda Triangle, and spends each summer searching the sea off Florida for her.

When Sam gets frustrated at his father’s obsession, and the fact that they are left to hang around their holiday home every day, unable to go anywhere in Matt’s absence, he decides to teach his dad a lesson. So he takes their motorboat out without permission for a spot of deep sea fishing. He persuades Callum to go with him, despite Niamh’s warnings about the risks.

Of course, history repeats itself, and whilst they are enjoying the fishing, Sam and Callum suddenly find themselves transported away from the coastline of modern day Florida to somewhere very different. When they get back to land, it’s not the Florida they left. They are confronted with technologically advanced lizardmen who are apparently descended from dinosaurs. The few humans they meet have all been fellow victims of the Devil’s Triangle, and insist that there’s no way to get home. While science geek Callum tries to work out whether they really are stuck there, Sam finds out that his mother is alive and well. Now his only interest is in finding her.

Meanwhile, back in Florida, Niamh raises the alarm when Sam and Callum don’t return from fishing. However, to her horror, the Florida Police then arrest her father for Sam and Callum’s suspected murder, leaving Niamh trying to locate them on her own, armed only with the strange mental link she shares with her twin brother, which convinces her that he is still alive.

As the book progresses, we are left breathlessly waiting for the answer to three key questions: Will Sam find his mother? Will Callum work out a way to get back home? And will Niamh find a way to locate the boys and prove that her father is not a murderer?

‘The Devil’s Triangle’ is a fast-paced action adventure story that will keep you turning the pages. It provides an interesting science fictional twist on the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. Mark has created a fascinating parallel Earth, inhabited by intelligent creatures who are simultaneously more advanced than humans – having, for example, been using nuclear power for eight hundred years – and much more primitive, hunting like wild animals.

While I really enjoyed Sam and Callum’s storyline on the parallel Earth, I was less convinced by Niamh’s back at home. For a young woman whose entire life is falling apart – her twin brother missing, her father wrongly arrested for his son’s murder – she seems to spend an awful lot of her time flirting with the first boy she comes across. And, ultimately, although she has a mysterious mental link with her missing twin brother, she seems to have no idea how to use it to help her find him. Though, to be fair, this is perhaps not that surprising, given that he has been transported to a parallel world, a fact she is totally unaware of.

Minor criticisms apart, ‘The Devil’s Triangle’ is an exciting story that breaks new ground for Mark Robson. His first foray into young adult science fiction is great fun and will hopefully bring him a raft of new readers to sit alongside the fans of his previous fantasy adventures.
 

Deathpool

Science fiction fantasy
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Bad quality and good price doesn't sell. A balance
I haven't been brave enough to talk about the Burmuda Triangle ever since somebody got on me, but I'll start up again. Flight 19 consisted of epxerienced pilots. They were fighter pilots transfering to Avengers. An Avenger is a torpedoe bomber. Avengers have a bombbay and a bomb sight. I didn't say this correction before because I just wanted the arguement to end. There's also eye witness accounts telling very strange stories of strange forces. Those of you that say it's not a mystery have either been reading the wrong material or haven't even read about it. There's one time when time seemed to come to a standstill on an airliner. All of the incidents involve a strange greenish fog. Some involved a while fog that only surrounded one single area. i've never read the book, but it sounds interesting.
 

littlemissattitude

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One very minor quibble with a point in your review, Patrick. You wrote:

While I really enjoyed Sam and Callum’s storyline on the parallel Earth, I was less convinced by Niamh’s back at home. For a young woman whose entire life is falling apart – her twin brother missing, her father wrongly arrested for his son’s murder – she seems to spend an awful lot of her time flirting with the first boy she comes across. And, ultimately, although she has a mysterious mental link with her missing twin brother, she seems to have no idea how to use it to help her find him. Though, to be fair, this is perhaps not that surprising, given that he has been transported to a parallel world, a fact she is totally unaware of.
You have obviously never been a teenage girl with raging hormones. Most of the teenage girls I grew up with (and myself at Niamh's age), would have stopped to flirt with a cute boy under any circumstances, no matter how trying. It's wired into the brain. As I was reading the book, I was actually quite impressed that Mark got that so right.
 

Mark Robson

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Aug 31, 2004
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One very minor quibble with a point in your review, Patrick. You wrote:



You have obviously never been a teenage girl with raging hormones. Most of the teenage girls I grew up with (and myself at Niamh's age), would have stopped to flirt with a cute boy under any circumstances, no matter how trying. It's wired into the brain. As I was reading the book, I was actually quite impressed that Mark got that so right.
Phew! Thanks LMA. That's a bit of a relief. The character of Niamh was the hardest for me to fathom out. I think I know her a lot better now and she has some very interesting experiences in Book 2. Having never been a teenage girl, trying to think like one doesn't come naturally, but I do spend quite a lot of time in schools so it's nice to think that my observations of teen girl behaviour have not been totally misguided.
 

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