Shadowmancer, by G.P Taylor.
Well, I had to leave this review for a day or so to see if I truly felt as irritated by this as I did after I finished it… my feelings have not changed, however. The last time I felt this pissed by a book was when I read James Barclay’s ‘Dawn Thief‘. What. A. Load. Of. Crap.
I found myself fabricating excuses: it’s written for young teens, it’s a short book, it’s… I ran out of excuses. It’s just very basic. A thinly veiled attempt to preach to kids about how you need to believe in God, even if you have never seen Him/Her. In the book, our main character (teenaged Thomas) learns that, when he feels like crap, he just has to close his eyes and he will see his God. He’ll magically feel better, calmer, and more positive. For five minutes. Then something bad happens and he has to repeat the process as, naturally, he forgets that he swore that he’d always believe in Him.
Our messiah, of sorts, even has these attacks of doubt. Plus, he’s a pussy. He manages to forget he’s injured for a while… then starts moaning when he has to walk. Thomas’ female friend, Kate, is equally pathetic for the most part. Despite her being choc-full of attitude at the start. As soon as she shoves on a dress, she gets really lame and whines a lot.
They seem to go nowhere. They wander around, following where they’ve been directed, only to stumble across more bad guys out to steal a trinket that doesn’t seem to do much but bring on the ‘end of days’ (why didn’t God have the forethought not to create this piece of crap? Eh?). They get stuck in a pickle:
“Oh no,” they cry. “We’re going to die!”
“Don’t worry,” says some pillock. “If we sit down, close our eyes, and think of God…” Hey presto! There’s another secret staircase. Handy!
And don’t forget that magic, seances, and tarot cards are all evil! Yes, they are. You’re totally going to hell if you use them. Which makes me wonder if the guy on the back from The Times who wrote: “The biggest event in children’s fiction since Harry Potter” has actually read either book. Some kid grows up wanting to be Harry Potter… then reads this book and learns that God, whilst apparently being all-loving, will probably send you to hell for believing in magic. Sorry kids.
The only saving grace is a few interesting characters, just a shame that they’re mostly pointless in this piece of work. And then it ends.