- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: David Fickling Books (1 Mar 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0857560298
- ISBN-13: 978-0857560292
Since this book cover was a big contender of my book cover wars (at the back end of last year) I have eagerly anticipated this release. The magical book cover, illustrated by the talented David Wyatt, couldn't have had a more magical touch applied to it. However, could this magic find its way inside the book and onto the pages?
I have to say that the review of this book is a glowing one. This story is both fast paced and action packed from the very start of the book. With no problem at all, this author gets stuck into the action very early on. He uses every page to keep the action flowing right until the end of this story. The author has not packed the writing with detail, instead the emphasis has been placed on the storyline. He has created a story that both children and adults alike will enjoy. However, I perhaps would have liked the evil monsters to have been written more creatively - perhaps making a Demon Beast from scratch so that it was totally unique. Yet having said all that this is only book one.
Set on the enchanting island of Port Fayt (the jewel of the Middle Islands) this is a safe haven for a whole host of creatures, as well as a half-gobling boy named Joseph Grubb. Yet protection from the League of Light is essential. This book follows the adventures of The Demon's Watch, an unusual group of characters, who protect the Island from smugglers. However things become complicated when they encounter a powerful witch. At this point the adventure turns into a run away train - the pace hurtles through the story right to the very end.
This book is a great family read; it has some of the best pirate banter that you will find such as "Come on maggot breath". The entertaining battles scenes, close scrapes and the odd bar brawl (in the Legless Mermaid) will have you running for your grog. I particularly loved the chapter involving Harry's Shark Pit which is written with oodles of imagination, humour and wit. I also enjoyed and appreciated the interesting use of vocabulary such as walrus dung, Dockside Militia and the three-legged, one-eyed dog - brilliant stuff. Interestingly, I can't help but compare this to the brilliant Edge Chronicle series written by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.
In one of my book reviews a little while ago, I highlighted that I'm finding less fantasy-themed books in my reading pile. However, this is one debut book that will definitely find its way onto the bookshelves in March. It is also one that could fill a hole in the fantasy market and do really well if you ask me. Conrad has created a fantastic start to an amazing adventure - I loved every minute embroiled in this story. I'm very pleased to be able to heartily recommend this book to you all; I feel sure it won't let you down matey!