Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Answering Review Request: 'Jake Johnson and the Half Bloods"

James Warburton's mother asked me to read her son's book: Jake Johnson and the Half Bloods. His mother had to do because he is nine years old. This is likely his first attempt at writing fiction and so I will score it as such.

 "Jake Johnson and the Half Bloods" is old school high fantasy. There are semi divine children who use magic weapons to fight monsters and smite evil. I've read that sort of thing before but who cares? It's remarkably engaging. More importantly, there are no pretensions to originality which I find refreshing. Too many authors strive for a myth like 'originality' instead of making use of classical myths like this one.

On another level I enjoyed it because it's nostalgic. It reminds me of the kind of thing I'd write about when I was that age. Reading it made me smile. The biggest difference is grammar and spelling; at that age mine weren't as good.

It is twenty one pages long. This makes it compact and lays a bigger claim to 'fast paced' and 'action packed' than others I've read as a volunteer book reviewer. Also, there is a beginning, middle, and end. One would think that would be self-evident but some want to be 'innovative' by leaving cliffhangers when all it does is irritate. The ending here is what we call on TvTropes 'The Adventures Continues": the book ends with the start of Jake's next mission.

Considering this is a nine year old's first effort, it's amazing. If he refines his skill he'll become a splendid author.

Trickster Eric Novels gives "Jake Johnson and the Half Bloods" an A

Click here for the next review request: Tainted Dawn

Click here for the previous review request: Predation

5 comments:

  1. That's downright awesome! A nine-year-old drafting twenty-one pages of high fantasy? Just plain awesome! Big time kudos to the nine-year-old and sincere appreciation for his mother who made the request on his behalf. And my hat is off to you as well, Brian. I imagine many (if not most) reviewers would have dismissed the request out of hand.

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    1. It's hard for me to say 'no' to fantasy.

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  2. I wrote stuff at that age, but 1)there was no way I would have let anyone read it and 2)there probably wouldn't have been much of a plot to it. This kid impresses me.

    I have to second Jeff. A lot of people wouldn't have taken the time, so major kudos to you.

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    1. Same here. My earliest stuff was strictly hush-hush. Showing A Mage's Power to someone wasn't easy either. I like his guts.

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  3. Didn't realize that this was a nine year old's book when my son requested this for his summer reading. So my son comes in to tell me he's done reading this short but appropriate for my son(10yrs). Found this site while looking for questions to quiz him on his reading. It is a really good book, let's even forget it was written by a nine year old. I'm glad Kindle carried the book. My son will definitely be reading the next book.I hope this kids mom knows what she has and continues to let him publish cause I'm going to continue to allow my kid to read his stuff. Nice work and very imaginative with flow that keeps the interest of other kids as the author is a kid.

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