BOOK REVIEW: SEVENTH CHILD / AUTHOR: PETER R. ELLIS / PUBLISHER: ELSEWHERE PRESS / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 30TH
Seventh Child, being the first in the Evil Above the Stars trilogy, marks the first published work of fiction for retired chemistry teacher Peter R. Ellis. Despite his elitist leaning taste in fantasy fiction, his own work is pure young adult. It’s a genre that’s a wonderful vehicle for heavy themes, ideas and thoughtful storytelling, but Seventh Child is a dreary take on the familiar.
Fifteen-year-old secondary school student September Weekes is easy to get behind, given she’s teased over her weight and name with all the usual clichés of teen life. But they aren’t presented in a way that’s either humorous, engaging or fresh, coming up little better than if David Eddings had a pop at writing Tracy Beaker. September discovers a curious stone that in moonlight whisks her off to the fantasy land Gwlad, where she’s soon embroiled in their defence against evil.
The names come straight from Welsh and even with the pronunciation guide at the front of the book, you’ll be struggling over them. Given his educational background, it’s little wonder the prose has an academic edge, and there is some evocative, if lengthy, description but it’s often qualified with asinine reactions and throwaway sentences. As for the second book, well, the best is surely yet to come.
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