11 July 2007

250 word review: 'Shadowmancer' by GP Taylor

I got this book when it was first published because the Christian press went mad over it. Having finally read it, I can see why - it's so evangelistic, it borders on brainwashing! The story is about Thomas, an orphan living in a cave, his friend Kate who is abused at home and a mysterious African called Raphah, trying to find and protect a magical statue which bought by priest-turned -sorceror Demurral. They must overcome many hurdles and creatures to get hold of this statue and attempt to return it and Raphah to their homeland, as Demurral tries to overthrow God and take over the universe.

It’s a gripping story, full of the swordfights, monsters and magic you’d expect in a children’s novel. But not very far underneath it all it’s about the supremacy and love of God. Even as a Christian I found it rather heavy-handed. The statue is a Keruvim (cherubim), Raphah constantly talks of ‘Riathamus’ (Jesus), Thomas has a prophetic vision, and Bible verses are unsubtlely thrown in everywhere. I thought, “Well maybe it won’t be that obvious to a child,” but at points I knew I was kidding myself. I believe children should be taught about Christianity, but this book implies that it’s all about heroism, visions, supernatural fights and tangible closeness to God – which is a confusing and misleading message.

That said, this was a really good read, although the end was a bit rushed. But nobody knows how to end a book these days!

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