Just finished reading Shadowmancer by G.P. Taylor, who first became famous as the self-published author who sold 10,000 books and was then taken on by Faber&Faber. Old G.P. is/was a vicar, you see, and reckons he visited lots of schools and did lots of book signings to achieve his sales. He’s an inspiration for all those looking to get that breakthrough and an object lesson in proactive marketing. http://www.gptaylor.info/
But is the book any good? Not really. It starts, interestingly, with a corrupt vicar who is looking to collect holy artifacts that will give him absolute power. Two local kids find out what he’s up to and set out to stop him. There are smugglers, an exotic stranger, local miners, etc, to spice things up too. Unfortunately, all the characters are completely black and white, so blur into the same good character and bad character. There are also revelationary scenes right near the beginning that tell us good will always triumph, so there’s no suspense in any of the story.
Somewhat predictably then, it’s ‘evangelical fantasy’ that has a fait a complit right at the start. It reminds me of Stephen Lawhead’s work (http://www.stephenlawhead.com/) in that respect. Or Colombo, where we know the killer right from the start, and know Colombo always catches them.
Shadowmancer is clearly written for the younger market, but even that isn’t an excuse. Where JK Rowling and Philip Pullman write children’s fantasy that also enchants adults, G.P. Taylor just doesn’t manage to pull off the same trick. 5/10 from me.