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- Posts: 173
- Joined: 22 Mar 2013, 03:55
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- Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-casper.html
- Latest Review: "The Sanctuary" by Cassandra R. Siddons
The main theme of this fantasy tale is a boy's ability to see and speak with the dead, although, as a stereotypical teenager, he has enough problems in communicating with the living. Seventeen year old Marvin inherits this gift (or, as he calls it, this curse) when his father dies, and desperately struggles against it as the story unfolds.
In spite of his aversion to ghosts, he is drawn to the graveyard behind his new home, where he meets a mysterious girl called Stella, who has lost her memory, but appears to have a pawn shop ticket to reclaim it. First of all they have to find the pawn shop, located in somewhere called Moghador, which turns out to be even more unwholesome than it first appears.
The book alternates between a full blown horror story and black humour: more than a few of the characters are obvious comedians, or even caricatures, and some of the dialogue and Marvin's asides can be quite amusing. There are times when Ms Edwards creates real edge-of-the-seat suspense and she follows this up with vivid descriptions of the nauseating conditions that Marvin encounters which are quite repulsive - in the nicest possible way.
The author is certainly not afraid to touch on some pretty profound subjects on the way: life, death, loss, grief, and different ways of dealing with bereavement feature in the first few chapters. A strong secondary theme in the book is the relationship between step-parent and step-child, and the pressures this puts on the family, especially when mixed up with the usual teenage angst. Poor Marvin certainly has more than his fair share of problems to work his way through, but, as the adventure forces him to mature and take on responsibilities, some of his fondly held illusions are shattered and he realises the truth about many things including his own faults.
I enjoyed this story, aimed at older children and young adults; it is an interesting take on the teenager who feels 'different'. The characters are likeable although I feel that some of them are a little bit one dimensional
and there are just a few too many coincidences to be credible for me. It is generally well written; I noticed a few typos but they did not detract from the action. I have rated this book three out of four stars and I would certainly recommend it: it is a good fantasy adventure with unexpected twists and turns and an unlikely hero who would rather draw pictures than help ghosts.
Buy "Marvin's Curse" on Amazon
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- Joined: 14 Jun 2013, 06:30
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Many thanks, Debra.