Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Book Reviews

Invisible Fiends: The Crowmaster
Barry Hutchinson
Harper Collins
Available Now - £5.99 (Paperback)
Review by Rob Wade

After Kyle's ordeal at school, his mother packs him off to the safety of the countryside, where there will be no temptation to use his powers, and he can forget the bad things - like the fact that his dad is a monster determined to destroy the world. But here's the thing about the countryside: it's full of nature, and nature sometimes has claws. Followed by a spindly figure in the woods and attacked by crows, Kyle is about to discover that NOWHERE is safe from the invisible fiends…

Invisible Fiends is a franchise that has been going for about a year, and deals with Kyle Alexander, a young man with a bizarre gift: He has the ability to create monsters from the imaginary friends of the people closest to him. Moreover, he also has the ability to let his imagination create and manipulate things in the world, from fixing a broken nose to instantiating objects simply with the power of his mind. It’s a really interesting premise, particularly as the use of these powers has significant repercussions for the world at large as the course of the overall storyline unfolds, which makes for an exciting upcoming climax, alluded to expertly in the prologue for this volume.

First things first. The story is really good throughout, with the right amount of explanation present all the way through. Although a couple of things have become apparent to me that will develop in the future of the story, it’s done in a way that makes you think of the lead character as a complete dumbarse as opposed to being disappointed that you figured something out early. It’s quite nice as well to feel intelligent enough to figure it out early, though maybe that’s just me.

As well as telling a good horror story, the build-up is really well done, with the first half really feeling like the calm before the storm. The book also does a really good job of telling a complete story, while at the same time setting the story up for the forthcoming novel. However, the book isn’t ideal as a jumping-on point, as half the story is done and dusted already. Also, if I had to make one criticism of an otherwise excellent book, it’s a little scattered in its pacing at times, with action jumping around very quickly sometimes. That’s not to discourage, however, from what is a recommended read which will interest both the Literal and Emotionally Fourteen.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence: Absolutely shitloads, from dismemberment to death to blood everywhere.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: None.
Summary: A really exciting and scary book, and a great look at the future of the franchise. 9/10

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