Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shadowmagic by John Lenahan

Source: Podiobooks (download the first chapter)
Length: Approx. 7 hours
Reader: John Lenahan

The book: When 18 year old Connor is visited by an unexpected guest, he learns that his father is not an eccentric professor, but a prince from a magical kingdom and his mother is a witch who practices the forbidden sorcery of Shadowmagic. The premise for the book is the well-worn magical coming of age story, like a Celtic mythology version of Percy Jackson.  Like Percy Jackson, Connor is full of teenage quips and a tendency to get himself into trouble.

The plot moves forward in bursts, with plenty of action at the beginning and ends of chapters, interspersed with exposition. I found the characters uninteresting, though the setting and magic were fascinating. In reviewing this, I realize that I'm not part of the target audience of young adults, so what seems immature and trite to me may be awesome for younger readers. Lenahan's writing may be unpolished, but this is still an amusing book for fans of young adult fantasy fiction.

Rating: 6 /10

The reader: Lenahan is a talented reader. He voices his book with enthusiasm that makes it much more enjoyable than the actual story by itself. He doesn't overdo himself with difficult Irish accents, but stays within his range. The podcast is introduced by an upbeat Celtic reel that reflects the subject and tone of the book. The recording is well-produced with excellent sound quality.

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