Friday 17 June 2011

Review: Shadowmagic - John Lenahan

“Hi, my name is Conor. Other than my father being a bit of an eccentric lunatic, my life was pretty normal until I got attacked in my living room and whisked away to Tir na Nog, the mystical land of the ancient Celts, where it turns out Dad is the usurped heir to the throne and everybody wants me dead because of some prophecy. Don’t you just hate when that happens?”

Shadowmagic is a rip roaring fun fantasy adventure novel by John Lenahan very loosely based on Irish mythology where every chapter ends on the edge of a cliff (or at least a high curb.) Join Conor as he grapples with typical teenage problems like, how to deal with a father's high expectations, how to survive in the world on your own and how to woo a beautiful girl – that wants you dead. Shadowmagic a podcast novel for young adults from 12 to 112.

Shadowmagic Series:
Prince of Hazel and Oak

For more information visit the Shadowmagic website

Conor is a normal teenager, about to graduate from school and enjoying spending time with his girlfriend.  He may have an eccentric father who makes him speak ancient languages and teaches him sword fighting but he never really thought much of it.  Not until the day that warriors break into his house and try to kill him that is.  Soon Conor finds himself held prisoner in a strange new land that he didn't know existed, his father isn't the person Conor thought he was and thanks to a prophecy nearly everyone he meets tries to kill him.  Perhaps he isn't quite a normal teenager after all.

I listened to this book as a free podcast found on iTunes, the story is read by the author and was fun to listen to, I enjoyed the author's accents and the way he tells Conor's tale.  The plot is fast paced and I was interested to see what would happen next but for some reason I wasn't hooked into the story as much as I expected to be.  I was really intrigued by the world of Tir na Nog and the different characters who live there but I would have liked more background information and more character development.  It took me 21 days to finish listening to the story as I was happy to settle for 1-2 chapters a day when normally if I'm sucked into a world I'd finish the book within a couple of days, or a week at the most for an audio book.

Although the description calls the novel a story for young adults from 12 to 112 I think it is more suitable for those at the younger end of the scale or perhaps adults who are fairly new to the fantasy genre.  I can imagine it would make great bed time reading material for families to read (or even to listen to the podcast) together.  I am curious enough that I will pick up the sequel but it isn't one I would be in a rush to get started on.  Definitely worth a try if you're looking for a light hearted adventure story though, especially as you can try it for free to see if it is to your taste or not.

Source: Downloaded as a free audio book on iTunes

Other Reviews:
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