Really unsure about my thoughts on Shadowmancer by GP Taylor, it has left me not knowing whether I enjoyed it or disliked it!
The plot isn’t the problem, being a standard good versus evil, and it does have some nice touches. You do care about the main protagonists of Thomas and Kate, and whether they succeed or not, and there are some gentle hints of feelings between the two of them.
Unfortunately the main Source of evil Obadiah Demurral, a priest who has fallen under the spell of dark magic, never quite reaches the point when you are truly afraid of him, and yet this is very dark novel, where even at the end, things are never truly settled.
I should mention here that, the author’s day job is as a vicar. It is the writing style that for me does not work, the author has quite obviously drawn comparisons with his religious beliefs and his books battle between good and evil.
It is here is where I have a problem The Christian content is just too obvious, with characters drawn straight from the pages of the Bible, and passages of speech are obviously analogies or direct quotes from biblical and liturgical texts. (And we are talking very well known and used passages) They just seem like they have been inserted with a large hammer, and remind me far too much of years of bad Sunday School services, and threw me straight out of the story every time.
As a Christian, I have seen this book in a few Christian bookshops/events since its release. So it seems quite well liked and respected, but I just can’t help thinking that fusing this kind of fiction and such an obvious Christian message is not quite the right way to go, because it never quite succeeds at either of its intents.
In doing a quick check on the author here to check a fact or two, I found out he is the vicar of Cloughton in Yorkshire near Scarborough, which is here i went to do my leader training for when I used to help run my local Boy’s Brigade company, which of course means absolutely nothing, other than it made me go “Hey, look at that!” 🙂
Buy: Shadowmancer by GP Taylor from Amazon.
ETA: In the vein of “Hey, look at that!” I met the author at a signing, a couple of years after making this review at it’s original home on my former blog, and while we were chatting and he was signing, we discovered his family used to live just down the road from me, and when I say “just down the road,” I do mean “Just”! Again not important to the review, but, “Hey! Look at that!”