18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Advent (Advent Trilogy) (Hardcover)
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This novel, the first in a trilogy, introduces us to 15-year-old Gavin, a lonely and unhappy teenager who feels abandoned by everyone around him because he sees things that are invisible to others. Having been thrown out of school, his parents send him to spend a week with his eccentric aunt in Cornwall. But when he arrives in Truro there's no one there to meet him. Things then take a completely unexpected turn and set the scene for an absolutely fantastic book.
Without giving anything away, the book deals with the notion that magic was once abundant in this world but was forgotten and, as the blurb tells us, is now 'rising to the world once more'. This is a dark and eerie novel, full of mystery, more suitable for the young adult and adult market than the children's. It reminds me of some of the fairy-tales and legends of old, and certainly Gavin is a reluctant hero, embarking on a journey of self-discovery and destined to go on a quest. James Treadwell is a consummate and skilled storyteller, weaving a rich tapestry of words. He's got a wonderful feeling for language: his prose is hauntingly beautiful at times, his characters' speech patterns, but also his descriptions of everyday situations and places, have a very authentic ring to them, so that when he describes the arrival of mythical and monstrous creatures and spirits, and the existence of warlocks and magic in present-day Cornwall (where else?), I took everything at face value because it sounded so completely plausible in his words. Some of the plot developments are pretty intense and terrifying, with chapters ending on cliffhangers, so that I was compelled to carry on reading even though I felt as breathless and exhausted as Gavin. The long chapters build up the atmosphere and tension, posing more questions at first than answers are forthcoming, and the reader has to put their trust in the narrator for it all to come together and make sense. If you're someone who just dips in for a couple of pages at night time, this book might not work for you, but then I dare you not to be swept away by the author's flight of the imagination and read on for hours. The worst thing about this book: that I will now have to wait for about another year for the next volume to come along.
Rarely has a book entranced me as much as this one: well done and thank you, Mr Treadwell.