The Legend of the Book Keeper

Daniel Blackaby. Russell Media (www.russell-media.com), $14.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-937498-04-7
In this debut novel from Blackaby, fourth-generation member of the storied Blackaby family of evangelical Christians, imagination outstrips writing craft. Ninth-grade friends Cody and Jade are plunged on a wild journey when Cody is made keeper of a mysterious book from an antique bookshop run by an elderly man. Their surroundings and the people they meet become increasingly fantastical as they plunge into a new world where people are not who they seem to be, and the book is the center of a struggle between realms. This inaugurates a trilogy that young fans of the fantastic will like for its fast-paced action. But the prose is painfully overwritten: an excess of adverbs (“Tiana probed curiously”), clunky dialogue (“So you guys are on a quest?”), awkward phrasing (“Cody bit his lip, or worse”). Young readers deserve better writing; while classified as young adult, the novel would better suit middle-grade readers. (June) ■
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
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