The Candle Man: a book review

The first teen hero that comes to everyone’s lips when talking about contemporary earth based fantasy is without a doubt Harry potter.  Perhaps the next is Eoin Colfer’s, Artemis Fowl….. Maybe it’s time for a third.

Candleman is  the first of a trilogy from Glen Daikin and follows the fortunes of Theo;  A young teen who has been kept in seclusion by his ward Dr Saint, for his own benefit, he has a life threatening condition, you see, that requires constant monitoring and treatment.  His only friends are the butler Mr Nicely and the deaf maid Clarice.  Theo’s whole existence is one of monotonous boredom.

However all of this is to change on his birthday when he discovers a package with his name on. The fact that he discovers it in a graveyard which he has been taken to for his birthday treat should tell you a lot about his life to date. The contents of the package bring him into contact with members of The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance and Theo becomes a pawn between them and their sworn enemies the Society of Good Works.  Who is Theo really, what is the purpose of the Mercy Tube and what is his relation to The Candleman?

Although Daikin claims a lot of inspiration from Sherlock Holmes, this book has echoes of  Neil Gaiman’s The graveyard Book and maybe a hint of Neverwhere and yet has a defined character all its own.  It has the feel of a pulp adventure and despite being set in the modern day, has a decidedly Victorian feel about it.

Theo’s character progression throughout the story is a delight to read as his naivety makes him a humorous, yet sympathetic character that you really find yourself feeling for.  The supporting cast are creepy and inspiring by turns; characters such as The Dodo, Lord Dove and Tristus the Gharghoul are caricature in nature yet wonderfully realised.

You can probably tell that I loved this book.  It says 9+ on the back cover and I think this will be a great read for the young adult audience.  Although the violence, while not excessive is not shied away from.  For adults this is an easy read, the kind of book that I personally relish reading between the heavier tomes I find myself involved in.  It’s like sorbet, something refreshing between courses.

Despite the fact that the book had a wonderfully complete resolution, there is a preview of the next Candle Man story. I wasn’t really sure where else you could go with this story, but the cliff hanger had me eager for more.

So if you like underground labyrinths, secret societies, mythical creatures and heroic legacies, then what are you waiting for – check it out at Glen Daikin: Candle Man

Oh and if your ecologically minded, Egmont is an ethical publisher.

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