Saturday, November 07, 2009

Changeling – Dark Moon – review

Author: Steve Feasey

First Published: 2009

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: Can Trey Laporte control his killer instinct?

First he discovered that he was a werewolf.

Then he joined forces with wealthy vampire Lucien Charron in a battle against the evil powers of the Netherworld.

Now Lucien lies in a coma and his gorgeous daughter wants her dad back. Trey is the only one who can save Lucien’s life.

But to succeed he must face his biggest challenge yet: a portal to the Netherworld, an Icelandic zombie, an evil sorceress, and Trey’s nemesis, the dark vampire Caliban.

The Review: Normally I don’t like to miss books out from a series, I’m a stickler for trying – whenever possible – to reading books in order. I have not, however, read the first book of Changeling but as I got the opportunity to get this book for free from Amazon – on their vine review programme – I launched into this with no pre-knowledge of the ongoing story.

This in itself is a test of a book as one then wonders whether the author will make the book accessible to a new reader not already invested in his series. I had no problem getting up to speed with the story or the lore behind this book but found myself facing some, in places, rather clumsy editing.

There is a section that discusses Gwendolin, the mother of primary character Alexa, and we become confused as to what the author is trying to say as it appears that Alexa both knows her to be alive and thinks her dead. In another part of the book a passing character (of no plot consequence) changes name from Liam to Brian and back and forth over a couple of pages. As I say, sloppy editing and one wonders, given that this is printed by a larger publisher, why they feel poor editing can be overlooked in a children’s book.

For make no doubt, this is a children’s book and if it failed, for me, it was because it remained at that level and didn’t straddle the nuances that separate children’s fiction and adult’s fiction. However I did feel it was probably (editing aside) a book that someone in the actual target audience might enjoy.

As for vampire lore we get very little. We do discover that vampires can mist, or move at such a speed that they seem to vanish from one place and reappear in another and that whilst they can rapidly heal, a bite from one of their own kind might often be deadly and it is a festering wound – from instance Caliban bit Lucien (in the previous volume) and that injury has the good vampire trapped in a coma. Luckily there is an artefact that can heal netherworld creatures.

All in all, probably fine for the kids, adults will find it lacking in character believability and more sophisticated nuances, plus Macmillan need to check their editing processes. 4.5 out of 10 reflects a low level mediocrity generally and I may have been generous.

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