BOOK REVIEW: A terrific action adventure told by a natural storyteller. The artwork is excellent and wonderfully apt for the feel of the story. The graphic violence here is offhandedly dealt with, and it works. It’s just normal for these ninjas to fight, shed blood and kill. Incorporating that into a story about a bunch of kids was handled with just the right, low level of sensationalism. The individual characters were fun and interesting. Spending time in each of their heads makes for excellent reading and was definitely the best way to tell this tale. A handful of misfits trained, tested in battle and building into a tough little fighting force with an unknown mystic power on their side, their foes beaten but not defeated and planning their next move… Great stuff!
BOOK REVIEW: Good versus evil, but wait a minute – not so simple. Two victims of bullying suddenly being bestowed with awesome powers… What better test of character and inner strength than to see how they each respond? How these two youths are transformed (or not) by this ‘gift’ is handled in an intelligent and complex way. Understanding the origin and ultimate purpose of this force is shaping as an intriguing supernatural thriller. One aspect of this power I’m finding particularly interesting is the sensing/exposing/manipulating of people’s emotions, and how this sword is double edged, with the loss of control happening inwardly as well. This volume ends in a blaze of action – the scene set for who-knows-what next… The main characters here are young adults, but I’d recommend a youthful spirit of adventure is all that’s needed to enjoy this story.
BOOK REVIEW: The princess of good trekking across the kingdom to battle the darkness of evil. This is a well tried concept and is handled wonderfully right here in a fast moving tale. If you don’t spend a lot of reading time in fantasy, you can need just the right balance of description and action to hold your interest. It’s a completely foreign world, so you need to be informed of the surroundings. The characters are often creatures, so you need plenty of detail about who and what they are. I find it easy to get bogged down in all this description in fantasy stories, but that didn’t happen with The Darkness Of Gold. Not at all. I found the characters to be intriguing and the scenery vivid, yet the story moved quickly and kept me very much interested and in anticipation of what would come next. I ended up with an impression of a richly three dimensional kingdom, with a lot to the story remaining mysterious and untold. The different kinds of communities briefly encountered were fascinating and offered adventures for the imagination well beyond the scope of this quest. You find yourself wondering what was going on there as you’re passing by. I liked that. The action scenes were quite powerful and, again, vivid. I think the romantic element was sweet and in just the right proportion with the rest of the plot. I didn’t pick the ending. That was a good twist… To an occasional fantasy reader, this was quite a good Sunday’s entertainment.