Sunday, 10 January 2010

Jon Mayhew - Mortlock - Book Review






Mr Ripley's Book Review
I have had this book for quite a while now; I have been keeping it back for the special moment that I know as 'savouring time'. However as the last book I reviewed had a character called 'Mortlock' (The Obsidian Key), I thought that the 'savouring' moment had finally arrived to dust the book down and start the reading journey. . . . .

The book starts with some speed, taking you straight into the action from the very first page. The author certainly sets the standard from the beginning and delivers a delicious piece of Gothic horror - you will struggle to find this quality from any other debut author. 


Dark humour is sprinkled throughout the story and gives an added dimension to the book - showing characters' emotions in the face of evil. The book is based upon an original story plot but is greatly enhanced by the incredible description of individual characters; inflicting brutal acts on their victims and intimidating all who have the unfortunate luck to encounter them! My favourite though, are the beaky-like creatures known as 'Ghuls,' who show up at the Great Cardamom house and menace them - all at devastating and perilous lengths.


The plot is developed around the search of a powerful item, known as the Amarant, which holds the power of life and death. Everyone wants to become the master of this object and the owner of these powers. The mysteries that unfold encompass raging battles to find the 'Amarant' first. The backdrop to the story is well executed, keeping  you on edge the whole time. The further you delve into the story the more it freaks you out.

The end swiftly comes to a close but not too quickly. Instead it left me feeling distinctly satisfied (even though I didn't want it to end). The only mystery I was left with, related to whether the story may be further developed into a sequel, as the ending felt fairly final to me.



Book Synopsis
The sister is a knife-thrower in a magician's stage act, the brother an undertaker's assistant. Neither orphan knows of the other's existence. Until, that is, three terrible Aunts descend on the girl's house and imprison her guardian, the Great Cardamom. His dying act is to pass the girl a note with clues to the secret he carries to his grave. Cardamom was one of three explorers on an expedition to locate the legendary Amarant, a plant with power over life and death. Now, pursued by flesh-eating crow-like ghuls, brother and sister must decode the message and save themselves from its sinister legacy.


About The Author
Jon Mayhew is a man with a dark imagination, who has always loved writing and storytelling. An English teacher (to children and teenagers) for 20 years, he now works as a specialist teacher for children with autism. He has four children himself and, when neither teaching nor writing, he plays in ceilidh bands and runs marathons. Mortlock is his first novel. Jon lives between the ancient cities of Chester and Liverpool.



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