Thursday, April 17, 2014

REVIEW: Under the Shadow of Darkness

The Apprentice Series 1:
Under the Shadow of Darkness
James & Issa Cardona

Genre: Fantasy & Magic, YA
Publication date: 3.2.2014
Pages: 164
Amazon link: Under the Shadow of Darkness

Date read: 4.7.2014
Recommended by: Read 2 Review

Summary: Magician’s apprentice Bel along with a wise cracking wizard must journey under the shadow of darkness to try to discover how the fabric of reality has been rent, tearing open a gateway to the underworld and allowing the dead to walk among the living. Who did it and why? Was it intentional? Can they defeat them? Can they close the rift? Can a teenager learning the ways of magic and an ancient archmage long past his prime stop the darkness, close the breach and save all reality?

My thoughts

I read James' story Santa Claus vs the Aliens and enjoyed it, especially after he fixed up the ending as I, and a few other reviewers, suggested, so when he asked me to take a look at this one, I was really excited. 

Bel has just become an apprentice to a great wizard, but had not had the chance to learn anything from him before they had to set off with two others (another wizard and his apprentice, a boy Bel had known in school) to find out the reason for the darkness that has swept over their lands and the zombie-esque creatures that are walking through that darkness.

I liked this story.  It was fun, interesting, and I really enjoyed the characters, especially the two wizards and their apprentices.  I liked the description of the darkness that covered everything and the adventure that they went on to try to save their lands from the evil that was taking over.  I liked the battle at the end, as well, and would really like to know more about these characters and their adventures to come, so I can't wait for book 2 to come out.

I did have one or two problems with the book.  First, it does have some editing issues, which I brought to the attention of the author.  Second, and the biggie for me, the dead - they are funny and, at times, even dumb, which makes them attacking not really all that frightening.  In fact, the only times that I had a fear of them was when they were first introduced (mainly because I did not know what they were capable of) and when they were attacking the town that these four stopped in for a few days to rest.  The other times, they seemed more like an annoying afterthought.

Favorite character: Nes'egrinon

Favorite line: "Life and death is in the power of the tongue." 

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