: Serafina and the Black Cloak
: Robert Beatty
: Children’s fiction, fantasy
: Disney Hyperion
: July 14th, 2015
Synopsis: “Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”
Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate.There’s plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. When children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is:a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s identity before all of the children vanish one by one.
Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.
This book had a huge marketing hype around it. All the marketing, the intriguing description as well as the book-cover got me very excited about this book.
In many ways this book would be better off had the author invented a fictional family to go with the castle. Instead he chose to go with the family who are historically linked to the estate, and then he throws history all over the place. Of course all historical fiction does fictionalize a lot of things, but their fictional facts should in some fashion be linked to actual historical facts or theories.
The characters were easy to enjoy but they were a little flat. The mysteries are a bit simple and the books targeted audience (8-12 year olds) wouldn’t have much trouble figuring out the mysteries presented in the book. That is everything except Serafina’s own “past” which is barely foreshadowed at all and is just info-dumped on the reader in the end. Though it is pretty clear what she is, or it is very well displayed by the books illustrations, but the whole why and whens are just dropped in the end.
That aside, this is a book that can be enjoyed, particularly by it’s targeted audience, but the hype around it is insanely overplayed. This is a normal mediocre book which could have been much better had the story been a little more complex and with more colorful characters. If the novel had been longer and there had been more space for the character’s to evolve, this would have been a superb book.
By all means, this book turned out to be a huge disappointment.
Se the astonishing book-trailer below (I would watch that movie):
Posted in adventure, Book Reviews, Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Teens
Tagged book review, book reviews, book trailer, Children's Fiction, Disney Hyperion, fantasy, Historical fiction, Robert Beatty, Serafina and the Black Cloak
: Warning Cry
: Guardians of the Wild #2
: Kris Humphrey
: Stripes Publishing
: July 6th, 2015
Synopsis: When a raven drops a white feather at the doorstep on the day of your birth, it is a symbol of your destiny. You are a Whisperer – a guardian of the wild.
I did read the first book in this series and it was not my favorite book, but I decided to go ahead and give the second book a try, as it might grow on me. It didn’t. There are too many unanswered questions from book one and they continue into book two without any offer of any explanations. As one book in a series it is to be expected that there have to be some open treads for future installments to carry on from, but this book/series just leave too many of them. Somehow it makes the story float all over the place and I, as a reader, have no sense of progress and no sense of direction. A good book leads the reader on the way to the answer, a great book tricks the reader and leave in a few lies, this book just throws out a million questions and offer no explanations.
To look at the positive side of things I want to say that the pace of the story and the narration is intriguing, it does offer the reader some sort of comfort and familiarity. The cover is gorgeous, and for younger readers I think this chaotic book might just work, it just didn’t work for me.
: Gary Whitta
: Historical Horror/Fantasy (?)
: July 30th, 2015
Synopsis: ENGLAND, 888 A.D. As King Alfred the Great struggles to defend his realm from hordes of Viking invaders, the Archbishop of Canterbury stumbles upon an ancient secret — dark magic that could turn the tide of the war in England’s favor. But when exposure to the magic corrupts the Archbishop, Alfred commands his greatest Knight, Sir Wulfric, to hunt the mad priest down. One final campaign for Wulfric, and one that brings with it disastrous consequences…
Gary Whitta is no doubt a terrific screenwriter, there is no doubt in that. With Abomination he tries his hands on fiction writing, and his book’s premise is intriguing and original. It was with great excitement started reading his book, and after a few chapters I found myself wishing he had just written a screen play for a movie or a TV-series.
The story is well told, apart from many striking historical inaccuracies. The inaccuracies can be dealt with as a part of the premise is that historians did cover up what really went down. The writing-style is simple and straight forward, and too much so. To me this book reads much more like a screenplay than a piece of fiction. There is too much telling, and not enough showing. The reader is never challenged to think on his or her own, it’s just simply too simple.
The characters are interesting but not too complex, and I am not quite sure if this is intended to be a teen/YA-book or a book intended for adults, the writing style and word choices indicate the former.
The story has such promise and the blurb felt like a fresh breath, though the reading experience would have been greater if the author expected more from his readers.
Posted in Book Reviews, Historical & Biblical fiction
Tagged Abomination, book review, book reviews, fantasy, Gary Whitta, Historical fiction, horror, Inkshares, King Alfred, Sir Wulfric
The last couple of time I’ve been very engaged in writing, but it hasn’t entirely been my writing because I’m co-working on a very ambitious project. The last two years has been used on writing drafts and rewrite drafts and define the dos and don’ts of our world.
However this project has now escalated into something ever more ambitious, since we have decided to take our writing into a hard-core fantasy setting. We are creating our own world with maps, religions, languages, countries and of course magic. So this is a very big and very ambitious project that easily can be dragged down into failure, but we are trying and we are working very thoroughly on it.
Many would probably argue that people who are not linguists should not create languages, but we hope to prove it wrong. But if the languages don’t work, it will be no problem with erasing them, they won’t be the key to the story.
Right now it’s the world map that we are working very hard on and it’s starting to get into some shape.
This is only a part of the world though, and the poles will be moved further south and north (etc.) and made smaller as we’re not done with the whole map yet. So there will be a quite a few changes to that map and it will be made bigger and another continent or so will be added.