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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Shatter, The Children of Man, by Elizabeth C. Mock, Reviewed.

I read Shatter, the Children of Man, on my Kindle and enjoyed the experience. The story, with its weaving of different coloured threads of magic into an illuminating fabric, deals largely with human relations. A fantasy, it demonstrates how this sometimes maligned genre can make serious points under the guise of entertainment. The characters, an aspect of supreme importance to me in reading, shine and live, because Elizabeth C. Mock has invested them all with credible motivations and human emotions. There is much intrigue and a great deal of mystery in the novel. As part of a series, the rest of which I have not read, it clearly deals with issues beyond the scope of this single volume, but it works well as a stand-alone book. Nevertheless, I shall be interested to read the sequel, which is due out shortly.
I started this book in order to refresh my interest in the fantasy genre and it has turned out to be a good choice (my thanks to Goodreads members who advised the title). It does suffer from the common errors of the self-published eBook, in that there are quite a few minor grammatical, spelling and syntactical faults that a professional editor would hopefully have detected. However, these are not serious enough to detract from the reading experience. Also, as an eBook, it was unable to give me the necessary map a print book would undoubtedly have provided. However, this may simply be either a problem with Kindle or due to me being unable to access the map that appeared in a very tiny version in the details about the book.
The story, which I will not précis here (read the blurb and available excerpts if you want a synopsis), is full of twists and turns, all of which are character driven. It is the depth of characterisation that lifts this book above the ordinary and makes it so readable. The pacing is excellent, with just enough peaceful passages to allow the reader to catch his breath before being plunged into the next phase of action. It is a page turner but one with depth. A read I definitely enjoyed and a writer to whom I shall return.

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