By: G. P. Taylor
How do all the Christian books keep finding me? Yup, that’s right, I did it again. I really need to be a bit more careful at book sales, but how could I pass up something called Shadowmancer? It certainly didn’t seem Christian to me at first glance. It also happens to be a young adult novel, which I also happened to overlook, since I only read the back cover and not the inside jacket. I really need to be more discerning in my book sale choices. While it is tempting to grab anything that looks at all appealing, maybe I could rein it in a few notches.
The tale of an overzealous Vicar, evil by nature, and willing to go to any lengths for absolute power, was appealing at first. Classic good versus evil. Taking place in the eighteenth century also added a nice twist, and overall it was a perfectly decent story, but not quite what I was looking for.
The religious aspects of this book were not nearly as preachy as Ted Dekker’s books, or a retelling of biblical stories. At first I didn’t mind it. G.P. Taylor’s version of God, known in this story as Riathamus, was more on track with the kind, but powerful entity I had in mind. It was all about the support and force of God in the face of evil. I can work with that. But once it was suggested that anyone worshiping pagan gods were essentially worshiping evil, or that tarot cards were the tools of the devil, I lost some of my interest. My mind is just a little too wide open for that.
The two main characters are thirteen, so it’s on the young end of the YA spectrum. It felt a little more like a children’s book to me. It had its charming moments with a connection to the folklore of the time and the area, but in the end, the plot seemed to work out a little too simply in places. Now, that’s perfectly fine for this book’s target audience, but I would have liked something a bit more complex.
Ultimately, this was just the wrong book for me. Wrong age group, wrong religion. Christian, YA, fantasy novels are just not my thing, but I think, with the right audience, this would be an enjoyable read. I certainly didn’t hate it. From now on though, I will be checking a book’s religious affiliations before I grab it…even if it is only a dollar. Until next time…