This book is a great example of educational story, a story which is at half a way between a fairy tale and a fantasy novel. I am speaking about The Balloon, a stunning short novel written by the Italian author Fernanda Raineri. The book is titled The Balloon, Mount Tambura and the Flying Carpet and it is also subtitled “A wonderful adventure on the Apuan Alps”. The Balloon is the story of a wonderful journey of four friends around the awesome landscape of the Apuan Alps, a mountain chain placed in the North of Tuscany. The main characters of the book are just the four friends: Stella, Glenda, Frank and Rebecca. These guys decided to face a trip on an air Balloon leaded by a pilot called Alfred. The latter is a twenty year old, handsome, tanned and strange boy in charge of driving the friends over the Apuan Alps. But the things don’t go as they’d need to go. because of a strong wind, the flying balloon drops and crashes on the mountains. What had to be as a happy trip, it risks to end suddenly up as a tragedy. Thankfully, the balloon fell into a wood filled with soft leaves. The wood arises on a hilltop in turn nearby the Mount Tambura. All this prevents that the four friends end up killed after the accident. Dazed and with spinning heads, Frank, Rebecca and the two sisters, Stella and Glenda, notice to have out of touch with the pilot Alfred. At this stage, the book by Fernanda Ranieri takes a stunning turn, because instead to wait for the rescue team, the four guys decide to venture into a cave of Mount Tambura where they’ll find out an ancient treasure, but also the remains of skeletons and skulls owned to German soldiers who fought during the Second World War. Who killed these soldiers and where did the pilot Alfred go? Inside the cave, Frank, Stella, Glenda and Rebecca also discover an ancient parchment that tells about a magical red carpet capable to fly with the only force of the mind. The cave is also a dark and ominous place inhabited by monstrous fishes and fluorescent insects. The Balloon, hence, is an adventure tale with a high level of emotional strain and an excellent dose of suspense that have nothing to envy to other adventure stories written by English novelists. I can’t reveal the compelling end of the story, but I can only say that it has a great meaning which makes the book even more interesting. With this book, readers will also wonder: the four friends will manage to escape the creepy cave led only by their dreams and courage? To discover all this, it is necessary to read the book ( buy now on Amazon). With The Balloon, Fernanda Raineri reveals a great talent and a very high level of writing. Although The Balloon has been translated from Italian into English, the international English version keeps the same suspense level of the original version. I must admit I enjoyed reading this book very much! Page after page, I felt more and more overwhelmed by the vicissitudes of Frank, Stella, Glenda and Rebecca. I can assure each English book lover that after reading the book, the four Italian friends will become his favourite heroes. Rosalba Mancuso http://www.advicesbooks.com/index.php/review-of-the-balloon-mount-tambura-and-the-flying-carpet-by-fernanda-raineri/#more-4422
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