Saturday, March 19, 2011

Creepy Powers: Candleman

Candle Man UK CoverFor Christmas this year my son gave me Glenn Dakin's Candle Man, Book One: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance.  He gave everyone books, because he's a nice kid.  It's a middle grade steam punk book about a boy who is a Chosen One, but interestingly the boy spends most of the book being a bit of a milk sop.  The Bad Guys captured him at his birth and help him in complete isolation, telling him that his health demanded the restrictions, and he doesn't question this until he meets up with the Good Guys.  Even then he finds many things a bit shocking -- instead of hot water, people drink TEA, to give only one example.

I was very primed to like this book (see present from my son, above), but I did quibble with the length of time Theo spent being timid and cautious.  Yes, it was realistic, but when I read steam punk I want ACTION.  I want killer umbrellas.  I want goggles with poison spray.  Theo spends a lot of time looking for nonviolent solutions, and also being frankly appalled at his nasty superpower.  It's as creepy as his hand on the cover makes it seem.  By the way, the cover shown above is the UK one, which is also extremely creepy but in a different way. My copy is just called Candleman, by later editions give that name to the series and call the first book Society of Unrelenting Vigilance. B

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