A Pre-publication Review: Creeping Shadow: Rise of Isaac Book 1, by Caroline Peckham

Creeping Shadows:Rise of Isaac Book 1

Creeping Shadow is a young-adult fantasy by indie writer Caroline Peckham. Building on some of the best traditions of British children’s and young-adult writing, the story caught my imagination from the first pages and held it throughout the book.

It is truly difficult to find new ways to address themes and memes in young-adult writing. Some of my appreciation of Creeping Shadow almost certainly stemmed from the fact it was ‘familiar’: the opening events and settings, which have elements reminiscent of the introduction to Narnia, or to Susan Cooper’s Over Sea, Under Stone, began the story in a way that leads the reader to expect certain things to unfold, the way ‘Once upon a time…’ opens a classic fairy tale. And the reader is not disappointed!

Wizards appear; a quest is demanded; travel between multiple worlds is required. The challenge required of the young protagonists in this first book of the series, however, is modern, owing more to The Hunger Games and to some extent to the Harry Potter series than to C.S. Lewis, firmly siting the book in the modern young-adult universe.

The copy I read was an ARC – publication does not occur until December – and had a remarkably small number of production errors. The story is well-plotted and characters sufficiently complex in most cases to avoid being stereotypes, although roles are usually almost instantly identifiable. Creeping Shadow has the honour of being the first book I ever read on my iPhone, mostly because I really wanted to finish it and my phone is almost always with me, so I could read anywhere. Strongly recommended!

This is an independent review of an ARC. The opinions stated here are mine alone.

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