Creeping Shadow (The Rise of Isaac, #1)
This review is based on an early reader copy provided by the author. The book will be published to Amazon in early December.
A man waits in Vale, a world void of humanity.
A mother vanishes, her disappearance concealed by the police.
A girl collapses, black magic invading her blood.
And a boy linked to them all must fight to save his family.
Earth is just one of seven worlds. Gateways divide the realms and those who pass through must earn keys, participating in challenges that will separate the fearful from the brave, the weak from the strong, and the witless from the cunning.
Sixteen year old Oliver Knight knows nothing of the other worlds or his family’s dark past. But when his adopted sister succumbs to a deadly curse the truth is revealed and he is plunged into an unknown land in a desperate bid to save her. However, a sinister enemy is on the rise and the danger they face at every turn throws those around them under suspicion. In order to survive, Oliver must figure out who to trust, who to believe and, ultimately, who to fear…
How refreshing to read a story with siblings who act like siblings! Oliver and May, our protagonists, are written in eminently believable fashion. They are not plagued by the common sense errors and foolish decisions that seem to affect teen characters in most young adult fiction. As a result Peckham doesn’t resort to MacGuffins to advance her story and you never want to thump the characters to wake them up.
Peckham blends magic and sci-fi to create a rich fantasy world. She quickly establishes an otherworldly feel just a bit different from Earth and carries that tone throughout the story. The pacing is nigh on perfect and a healthy portion of the chapters end on a note that makes you want to dive right into the next chapter. The epilogue is the best of the bunch and has me in a frump because the next book isn’t available yet.
Although Creeping Shadows is marketed as a young adult novel it feels more like a classic adventure tale along the lines of a C.S. Lewis or Madeleine L’Engle book. I recommend it to readers of any age.