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Shadowmancer [Kindle Edition]

G.P. Taylor
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £5.27
Kindle Price: £4.31 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Shadowmancer takes you into a world of superstition, magic and witchcraft, where the ultimate sacrifice might even be life itself.

Obadiah Demurral is a sorcerer who is seeking to control the highest power in the Universe. He will stop at nothing. The only people in his way are Raphah, Kate, Thomas and the mysterious Jacob Crane.

Packed full of history, folklore and smuggling, Shadowmancer is a tale of an epic battle that will grip both young and old. The thrills, suspense and danger are guaranteed to grab the attention and stretch imaginations to the limit.

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Written to include such elements as magic, witchcraft, superstition, sorcery, history, folklore and smuggling, Shadowmancer has become a book that simply cannot be ignored. Despite such fierce competition as JK Rowling's mighty bestseller Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Reverend Graham Taylor's debut children's novel has nevertheless garnered impressive media coverage.

At the heart of his story lies the classic battle between good and evil. On one side Taylor has painted one of the most despicable men possible--Obadiah Demurral, an 18th century vicar who preaches restraint and tolerance to his flock of god-fearing but misguided souls while all the time hiding the fact that he is a shadowmancer--a sorcerer who speaks to the dead--who commands these unfortunates to do his own bidding. For Demurral is intent on seeking to control the ultimate power in the universe. He doesn't want to worship God anymore, he wants to be God. And in the finest traditions of such stories, he will stop at nothing to achieve his dastardly goal.

Lined up against him, however, are some equally inventive good guys. Thomas Barrick, at 13, is the spunky almost-orphan who can intuitively see straight through Demurral's pious act and knows him to be evil to the core. Helping him is feisty tomboy Kate Coglan, Raphah--a mysterious African who has journeyed far to reclaim the precious symbols that Demurral is using for evil purpose, and Jacob Crane, a smuggler with a big grudge against the demented vicar.

The plot might wobble a little in places and the simmering religious overtones might get up a few people's noses, but Taylor's colourful cast is undoubtedly a triumph. The characters are larger than life, engaging, plentiful--and you'll care what happens to them. (For ages 10 and over) --John McLay

Book Description

Shadowmancer is a dark tale of magic and sorcery by G. P. Taylor, the bestselling author of Wormwood and Tersias.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 817 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0571233228
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Childrens Books; New edition edition (19 Aug. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042JSSJA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,362 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Super hype-super fall 14 Nov. 2003
Starved of some good fantasy to read, I decided to give this novel a try only to be disappointed, bored-and somewhat confused by the plot. This is not the kind of book to read in installments, as some of the chapters have serious cohesion problems and the strands of sub-plots are woven ad infinitum.
With regards to the characters, the novel presents a typical 'good versus evil' scenario, underlined by overt and complex religious connotations, which for a younger reader will be too complicated to follow at times. Raphah, Thomas and Kate, the main protagonists, are fairly one dimensional, although each have their own personal issues to resolve, which leads them to team up in their quest for an artefact, currently in the clutches of the evil vicar Demurral(a contradiction in terms?). Demurral has terrorised his parish for many years now and people are too afraid to stand up to him. If this character is in any way supposed to equal Vodermot's dimensions in Harry Potter, he certainly fails to strike horror into the reader and his 'army' of semi machines are far too easily avoided. His actions are half hearted, indecisive and far too drawn out. The most interesting character is probably Demurral's somewhat deformed and cunning assistant Beadle, whose desperate attempts to impress, spark some pity.
The only more interesting part about the novel is its setting around the Whitby area, visiting many of the familiar tourist sites, lending them a new history.
I managed to plow through this one but it is unlikely that I would read a second installment. However critical I initially was of Harry Potter, it is at the end of the day a much more enjoyable romp than this far too serious hotchpotch of a novel.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Just an opinion BUT ...
The hype about this decidedly average children's story from the publishing industry is understandable, in the light of the millions made for them by J. K. Rowling, but the complicity of the so-called critics is more surprising (and eye opening). On the back cover the "Times", "Observer", "Herald", "Daily Telegraph" and "Independent" all breathlessly agree that Shadowmancer is "the biggest event in children's fiction since Harry Potter".
There's no way these critics (or a proficient editor) actually read this book. Shadowmancer is poorly written, with a lack of attention to consistency that is continually jarring (and, yes, children pay attention to detail).
- How many hands does Demurral have as he "... took hold of the golden staff and placed his left hand on the stone fist ..." and "... raised the Keruvim with right hand ..." ?
- How strong is teenage Kate "A small figure leapt out of the darkness at Thomas and Raphah, grabbing them both by the throat and pushing them face down on to the ground" and how do you push two people face DOWN by their throat ?
- How dangerous can the Varrigal be (a "race of (eight feet) warriors") when Thomas, the young boy who was just pinned down by Kate, a teenage girl, is able to effectively trade sword blows with them using a Varrigal sword (from a fallen Varrigal, shot dead by Kate) ?
- Is the mill wheel wood or metal ? "A large wooden mill wheel jutted out into the mill beck ... It rolled on without stopping, the newly cast metal and fresh blue paint churning the water of the beck."
Shadowmancer also explains far too much, far too soon, as if children cannot wait for details to be revealed, or work things our for themselves.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time. 2 May 2004
By A Customer
It really amazes me that there is so much hype surrounding this book and that it has become so hugely popular. Surely it must be a great book to garner such acclaim? Actually, no it's not. In short, Shadowmancer is awful.
What's wrong with it? Take your pick. The characters are shallow and uninspiring. There is no depth to them or even any real development. The prose is terrible; it really comes as no surprise that G.P. Taylor was forced to self-publish this book - after all the agency he paid to read it said it was the worst thing they had ever read. You'd better believe it, it really is that bad. Sentences are disjointed, descriptions hopelessly flat. Realism makes way for obvious political correctness. While it is admirable to include a black character, how many black people lived in Yorkshire in the time period that this book is set in? None.
There is no tension, no suspense. It quickly becomes a real struggle to care about the characters or the story, or even turn the page. The obvious Christian allegory is also irritating, simply in that it is far too obvious.
In short, this is a terrible book. Don't believe the hype, and more importantly don't waste your money.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Seemed promising, but proved disappointing 5 Dec. 2003
By A Customer
I came to this book with high hopes, but have to say that I was disappointed. The writing is generally leaden (apart from occasionally well-written pieces of 'atmosphere'), the characters are cardboard, the plot is simplistic in the extreme, and there is no real depth of emotion. It has some good moments - the use of the Christian mythology is interesting, though it could be explained better for those not familiar with concepts of seravim etc; the basic idea behind the plot (over-ambitious evil vicar seeks world dominance, not realising he is being used by the devil) is promising. However, the whole work is let down by poor writing and determination to get the writer's Christian viewpoint (eg about tarot cards) across. (I may add that while I loved 'Northern Lights', the first in the 'Dark Materials' trilogy, I found the didacticism of 'The Amber Spyglass', with its obsession about 'dust' and the 'falsehood' of religion equally irritating). As for other characters / story elements - some characters are inserted briefly for no apparent reason, other than to 'lend atmosphere' (eg the witch on the moor, who seems to serve no plotting purpose); the children are whiny and two-dimensional; the constant preachiness of Raphah (love one another) gets annoying, and it's never really clear where the keruvim came from, why God would allow it to have such power as to overthrow himself, etc. All in all, a disappointment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Still Terrible
I looked at the comments on this book only after I had bought it and read it. When I bought it, I was intrigued by the story of the self-published author who became an underground... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ancient Mariner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 3 months ago by stephen Taylor
1.0 out of 5 stars The Derivative Love Child of Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Wonder...
If you took the literary illegitimate child of Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, Indiana Jones and the Bible, then you might get some weird offspring that looked a bit like this terrible... Read more
Published 4 months ago by V. G. Harwood
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful!
Literally dreadful (pun intended!) One of the worst books I've ever read.
Published 6 months ago by Mr R M Milburn
2.0 out of 5 stars A book telling us to believe in God.
a good, interesting story, might appeal to teenagers, I'm an adult and enjoyed it....except for the Christian content. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Lucy
1.0 out of 5 stars The writer is quite brilliant..
The writer is quite brilliant... at self-promotion. He's a genius at banging on about how he's "the new C.S. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Garry S. N. Dean
1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly abysmal
I normally try to see the good in any story, but in Shadowmancer there is nothing. It remains to be my most hated of novels, and here is why. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Kim Dyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great and atmospheric read!
This was another very atmospheric and super read from G.P. Taylor for me - and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Read more
Published 19 months ago by FAMOUS NAME
5.0 out of 5 stars page turning hair raising fast paced fantastic!!
Two things, its been a very long time since i read any of this author but what stuck in my mind was how good they were. Read more
Published on 15 July 2013 by none
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
This book had good reviews and I was excited to buy it for my two children but neither of them liked it and said it felt 'dark' in its content.
Published on 13 Jan. 2013 by L T Wilson
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