Hey there, book review time again, and being the responsible/lazy parent I am, I have delegated reviewing to Jess (11). Today’s book is THE SHADOW MAKER, the second book by Abi Elphinstone, a fantasy novel for ages 8+.
Fudgey – Right then Jess, tell me about this here book.
Jess – This is the sequel to The Dream Snatcher which is about a girl called Moll who part of a tribe who fight some scary bad guys called Shadowmasks in a forest. In this one they have to go along the coast looking for an amulet of truth, which is the only way to stop the Shadowmakers from winning.
Fudgey – Tell me about this main character, Moll.
Jess – Moll is the hero of the books, she is brave and clever and has a wildcat called Gryff, who is her best friend. She has to work out a way to stop all the Shadowmasks who want to kill her as well as all the other baddies.
Fudgey – The Shadowmasks sound pretty scary, yeah?
Jess – Yeah, they’re really weird too. They can affect all the environment and animals. One time they make all the owls evil and they have knives instead of feathers. I don’t think this book would be suitable for Megan (6 year old sister) because some of it is really scary. It was ok for me though.
Fudgey – Are the Shadowmasks the only baddies?
Jess – No, there are smugglers and mer creatures and loads of different obstacles to get past. I especially thought the Grim Whisperer was a decent baddy.
Fudgey – This all sounds very scary and serious, is the book hard work to read?
Jess – No, it’s really easy to read and some of the bits are quite funny. Kind of like Harry Potter but without the silliness. Moll’s friends are like comedy relief sometimes.
Fudgey – Remember the His Dark Materials books? I think these books are very similar to those, do you agree?
Jess – I think so, yeah. Although this book isn’t as confusing and weird. There are cool puzzles that the characters have to solve, but everything makes sense.
Fudgey – Are you excited about reading the third and final book in the trilogy when that comes out?
Jess – Yes! I want to know how the story ends, but I hope it isn’t the last one. I thought the ending to this book was pretty sad (and kind of a cliffhanger) so I think the next one should have a happy ending.
Fudgey – Is there anything you would like this book to have to improve it? I know you were apprehensive to read them at first because of the lack of pictures.
Jess – I do like a book to have pictures. Some of the weirder things in this book would be easier to imagine if there was a picture. I’d really like to know exactly what Darkbite looks like.
Otherwise I think the book is really good and I don’t think I’d change anything.
Fudgey – So, who would you recommend this book to?
Jess – I think it is good for anyone over, say about 8 up until old, like you. It can be too scary for younger kids, but I think it is appropriate for my age.
Fudgey – Marks out of 10?
Jess – I thought the end was sad and some bits were scary so 8 out of 10.
Fudgey – Thank you, now get back in your crate.
You can find The Shadow Keeper on Amazon. The third book in the trilogy comes out in 2017, so keep an eye out for that, people who are reading this in the future.