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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A drowning, a magician’s curse, and a centuries-old secret. 1537. A man hurries through city streets in a gathering snowstorm, clutching a box in one hand. He is Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age. The box he carries contains a mirror safeguarding a portion of his soul and a small ring containing all the magic in the world. Together, they comprise something unimaginably dangerou…

Advent: A Novel

by James Treadwell

Overall Book Review:

James Treadwell’s book, Advent, deals with what all fantasy readers have thought about at one time or another–the return of magic to our world.  Through the course of the book, the reader will find that magic may not be all fairy dust and magic potions, but more of a living thing that has a dark side as well.  Treadwell has given magic its own life force so that one could actually consider magic a character in the story.

Treadwell’s use of language to tell his story is quite impressive.  The language is in-depth and descriptive, and not just the imagery of physical settings–he also does an excellent job describing characters.  The way a character looks, feels and acts is very clear and makes the reader feel as though they may know these people or someone like them.  However, Treadwell’s superb use of language sometimes causes the pace of the story to suffer.  It seems as though the author wants us to really see how all these characters develop and what their backgrounds are, but won’t let them interact in a way that enhances the pace of the story.  The first 270 pages of the book were sometimes so slow and left much for the reader to guess on how it was all coming together that I almost didn’t finish the book.  That being said the last 200 pages are brilliant, exciting, and creative.  Read the book, there is more to come and the start seems promising. 

Content Analysis:

Language/Profanity: 15 religious exclamations; 3 mild obscenities; 12 religious profanities; 6 scatological words; 4 anatomical terms; 7 F-word derivatives.  The book also used British slang that may be considered profanity, i.e. bloody, fecking.

Violence/Gore:  One reference to physical abuse of a child and physical abuse of a girlfriend; mythical creatures fight and destroy property; character is killed by a fire breathing dog-like mythical creature that snaps the characters neck, non-detailed violent death; character is chased and fights with tree-like mythical creature, scary scene with destruction of property; few threats to hunt down and kill characters;  scary scene with character trapped in a dark cathedral with mythical creature;  throughout the beginning of the book character encounters the “ghost” that has followed him his whole life, the “ghost” is not exactly scary as it is an element of unknown (the ghost does communicate with character at unexpected times and is scary on one occasion); character is visited by what he thinks is a zombie girl; character has scary encounters with a possessed character that he knew previous to possession;  the end of the book is an extended chase scene that is scary most of the time and ends with a character left for dead sinking into a river.  During chase, characters fight with mythical creatures mentioned above and are injured by magic.

Sex/Nudity: Characters kiss to try to undo a spell; reunited wife and husband kiss and hug; some of the mythical creatures are naked, non-detailed or sexual in nature; 15 year old male character seems to have a “crush” on 13 year old female character–a romantic relationship is never explored or giving any details; one reference to pornography and implied masterbation; a character’s plan to get out of poverty involves her developing body, she also mentions the possibility of sexual abuse, non-detailed/non-graphic.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death of family member; poverty; mental health issues; separation of parent and child; divorce; physical and sexual child abuse; un-wed pregnancy, unknown father; witchcraft/magic; religious references to the end of the world; parental neglect.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

One character is described as an alcoholic and the neglect of the family is described.  No characters actually engage in drinking or drugs.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I didn’t like reading at first. It was boring. It took me awhile to find out that great places, amazing people, and fantastic things were found in the pages of books.