Creeping Shadow (The Rise of Isaac #1) by Caroline Peckham, e-book ARC, 341 pages, expected publication 10th December 2015.
Oliver and May Knight find themselves alone in the world when their mother mysteriously vanishes from their home. The authorities ship them off to live with a grandfather that they have never met, and don’t know anything about. He lives in a strange house and is keeping secrets from them. When May awakes screaming under the pain of a powerful curse, some truths must come to the surface. The earth is but one of seven worlds connected by gateways, there is real magic and mages who can control it, dark creatures, and more family secrets. Oliver and May must accompany their grandfather into the next world, and as they discover more about their family and themselves, they find that there may be danger lying ahead for them, and perhaps for all of humanity.
Creeping Shadow was an intriguing and complex novel that captured me right from the start and hooked me to the very last. It was a real page-turner, and so so hard to put down at bed time! The plot was fast, well constructed and gripping. The creation of seven worlds is interesting, and I love the idea of being able to travel through them via gateways, though passing the challenges to be allowed to travel through sounds a little daunting. The landscapes, new animals, plants and food are all described beautifully, making me feel like I could just step into Aleva myself.
The Race of Aleva reminded me of The Hunger Games, though with less murder. It was physically and emotionally challenging, with each task coming to life through the pages. It really tested the competitors, revealing their true selves. I felt like I got to know Oliver and May intimately, sharing their hopes and worries. All the characters were so well written, they came to life as I read. I became invested in the characters, always a good sign of an excellent story. I cheered Oliver and his team on during the race, my stomach lurched at signs of danger, I smiled at Ely’s concern, laughed at Rogan’s and Quinn’s attempts at disguise, and I wanted to punch Larkin in the face. I felt a thousand emotions as I ripped through Creeping Shadow. And I will be thinking about it for a long time to come.
I don’t normally get hung up much on the covers of books, however, I just love the cover for Creeping Shadow. It would definitely grab my attention from across the bookstore!
Suitable for high school students and older, Creeping Shadow is perfect for fantasy fans. It is the first book in a new series called The Rise of Isaac. It is due to be released on the 10th of December 2015 on Amazon, and would make an excellent Christmas gift for a teenager (or young adult fan of any age!). I can hardly wait for the next installment in the series!
*I received this advanced reading copy as a digital version from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.