Author: Christopher Michael Reardon
First Published: 2013
Page Count: 262
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Though the story has a good heart and some nice surprises, it’s a bit too simple for me to whole-heartedly recommend.
*Compassionate story *Interesting challenges
*Extremely rushed beginning *Continuity/grammatical errors *Too simplistic
“I challenge fate to change its course, for what it’s done, needs to reverse.” Nine-year-old Gari is diagnosed with a terminal illness and his time on earth is coming to a close. His live-in doctor, Alcott, can’t stand to see someone so full of life be forced to give it up. When he comes across a mysterious book, Alcott is given the chance to save Gari’s life by competing in dangerous trials. Can a man who has a deep fear of death face the grim reaper head on to save an innocent child’s life?
I’ll admit this book did surprise me in some areas. The challenges were creative and interesting. Because the story has such a compassionate premise, you can’t help but root for the main character and you are just as eager as he is to find out what trials he will be put through. The world the author creates is definitely unique and you want to unravel its mysteries as much as the other characters in this competition.
Unfortunately, there were some glaring problems that I can’t overlook which really brought down the book. The biggest one would have to be the beginning. In a matter of twenty pages or so we are introduced to Gari and Alcott and this mysterious book. This is not enough time for the reader to establish any bond to the characters or to believe in the relationship between the child and doctor. It feels totally thrown together, and the appearance of the magical book seems way too forced for the sake of getting to the trials portion of the story. The differences between the beginning of the story and the middle and end are like night and day. There is just not as much care put into this portion as there is in the rest of the book. Even so, there are a few errors in sentence structure or word use that can be distracting throughout the book and there are also continuity errors that don’t make sense. It just felt a little too sloppy and unfinished to really garner a PICK IT review from me.
There is a really kind story here and you can see the good intentions of the author in the friendships of the characters and their strength to overcome the obstacles in their way. However, the errors outshine a book that has potential. I could see this more as a children’s book in the same vein as Harry Potter because it has a story with good values, but with the action to keep a child’s attention. At this point, it was a little too simplistic for my liking, but I see promise in this author’s imagination.
*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.