Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shadowmagic by John Lenahan

Title: Shadowmagic
Author: John Lenahan
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Year: 2008
Read in: Danish
Where’d I get this copy: Library
Shadowmagic on Goodreads.

Teaser (from Goodreads):
Conor thought he was an average teenager. Okay, so his father only had one hand, spoke to him in ancient languages, and was a bit on the eccentric side, but, other than that, life was fairly normal. Until, that is, two Celtic warriors on horseback and wearing full armor appear at his front door and try to kill him. Don't you hate when that happens? 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 who wants you dead.

When I first read the bit about Conor’s dad being really skilled in all these extinct languages, I was hooked. I am very interested in languages and I’m thinking about taking Greek and Latin lessons some time in the near future. So yeah, so far I liked the book. But that was just the first chapter.

At times it seemed like John Lenahan hesitated between writing a full-blown epos and a young adult book for boys. Most of the dialogue was either average or good, but there were a lot of times when it became all solemn and formal which made it ridiculous. All these vague attempts to make the story epic and stuff were a terrible mistake. Seriously. John Lenahan should’ve kept it a funny adventure.

What touched me most was actually when Conor made that passionate speech about books.

I believe I must admit that I liked the story (and the talking trees) better than the characters. God, I just love trees that can talk and the thoughts of an enchanted nature.
And as always, I’m also a sucker for The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars references, so those were a plus as well.

I was kinda disappointed at Conor’s choice in the end, though. I mean, it was quite obvious what he’d choose, but I always get a little sad at the thought of someone leaving a magical world just so they can return home to this pitiful world. This applies to all stories, even if our main characters don’t have a choice (The Amber Spyglass).

So yeah. It was okay I guess. Nothing groundbreaking. 6/10.

Frederikke, out.

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