Book Reviews: Land of Midnight Days by Katrina Jackcategories: Book, Young Adult, Magic, Adventure, Fast Paced, Silver Flute, Trilogy, Ogres, Demons, Urban Fantasy
Katrina Jackabout this book: Land of Midnight Days is a YA, urban fantasy. Set in a city invaded by demons and ogres.
The authorities have no real power to combat the influx of demonic monsters, leaving them free to spread their fear throughout the metropolis unchecked… until an unlikely hero surfaces.
Jeremiah Tully is part Elwyn, part human and despised by both races as an idiot half-breed. Unable to speak and only able to communicate by sign language, his single consolation is the silver flute gifted to him by his absentee mother, Sylvan. A musician of unparalleled ability, Jeremiah little knows that his destiny is to rid the city of its demon infestation.
Land of Midnight Days took me two years to write. It was inspired by the 70's rock group, Jethro Tull and the Littlewoods art deco building on Edge Lane, in Liverpool. It makes a guest appearance as a derelict factory in the book.
Fast paced, filled with vivid imagery, I hope to take my readers on a roller coaster of a ride and make them live and breathe the story. The characters are three-dimensional and have their highs and lows, just like us all.
Land of Midnight Days is the first book in the Silver Flute Trilogy. The second book, Through the Gloaming, is almost complete and will be available shortly.
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Land of Midnight DaysLand of Midnight Days takes the familiar fantasy elements of elves, ogres, and heroes and turns them into Katrina Jack's unique creations. The setting is far from an orderly Hobbit-type Shire, a desolate howling desert or a leafy, elf-filled forest; this is a mucky, violent, industrial city. The elves are despised outcasts, the ogres hide in the least expected places, and the hero is a lonely, mute boy, whose sole possession and tenuous link with an unknown past is a silver flute.
These are perhaps the story's greatest strengths. The city is a character in its own right, ever-present and menacing. The underbelly of our large cities with their gang violence and underground economies becomes in this story the reality for everyone. There seems to be no escape from the street gangs, the despair, and dirt for the apathetic population. Into this grim, monochrome setting is introduced Jeremiah Tully, an engaging, intelligent waif-like boy who, as a half-breed, is an object of revulsion even in this city where nobody seems to give a damn about anything. Katrina Jack doesn't clutter the storyline with explanations about the history behind her world. She doesn't need to; we can all understand prejudice, and know it doesn't need a reason.
This was my favourite aspect of the book: Katrina Jack's creation of an atmosphere of violence and menace is truly grandiose. Jeremiah blunders about in a seemingly hopeless search to find out who he really is; prey to the roving bands of Gangers, and to the supreme indifference of the oppressed citizens. Circumstances push Jeremiah out of his fragile nest and into the maw of the city, and as he searches for clues that might lead him to a link with his lost family, the reasons for his very existence start to appear. The clues lead to real people and the action takes off into surprising realms.
If I were to make a criticism of this magical story, it would be that the introduction of the other characters in the second half occasionally seems rushed. Zebediah takes form gradually (and very surprisingly!), but the others appear already made; credible and original, but for that very reason I would have liked a bit more background about them. The action moves into a higher gear, and the intimacy of Jeremiah's perspective has to take a back seat. But this is YA, there is a limit to the amount of introspection a younger readership will tolerate, and the action is very well done, ending with a fabulous, demonic tableau.
Land of Midnight Days is the kind of story that stays with you, Jeremiah is an irresistible tragic hero, and I am looking forward to reading the next instalment. From what we know of Katrina Jack's world, we can be certain it isn't going to be all beer and skittles. [by Jane Dougherty]
Exciting and fast pacedLand of midnight days is a fast paced book that leaves you wanting more. It is full of twists and turns. From the very beginning I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. All of the characters, and the City in which the story is based, are described so vividly that I felt as though I was there, living through the adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am eager for the release of the next installment. I can't recommend it enough! [by Laura Stevenson]
Clever and excitingI usually prefer my fantasy of the Lord of the Rings or Song of Ice and Fire type but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a whole new take on demons and elves and ogres,highly original, with strongly drawn and sympathetic characters.
Great FantasyA dystopian fantasy, set in a futuristic city and modernising demons and elves and ogres in a highly original way. Intended for a YA audience but complex enough to interest any age. I took the book on holiday and couldn't wait to get back from whatever I was doing to read the next bit. A real page turner by a talented new writer, clever and exciting. [by Suchea]
Great fantasyThis book surprised me, I wasn't sure if I would like a dystopian fantasy, but I needn't have worried! It is fast paced and full of exciting action, the characters are very believable and the descriptions are good.
Ms. Jack keeps you wanting more from start to finish, a real page turner! I am looking forward to the next instalment to find out what else she has in store for Jeremiah Tully and his friends. I would recommend this book to anyone. [by Lindsey Goode]
Better than a dreamThe excellence of Land of Mighnight Days by Katrina Jack is, for one, measured by its ability to capture and hold my interest in a genre I tend to avoid. Typically, I choose well-grounded historical fiction, but this work of Urban Fantasy did attract me and once I began--once Jeremiah commenced playing his flute--I was entranced.
During the intervals between my reading sessions, and long after I'd finished it, images stayed with me, as if I had dreamt it all, as if I'd visited the Land of Oz and lived to tell the tale.
As a YA story, I also found that the messages therein may equip young readers to more effectively face life today, life in a world that is getting stranger by the minute. [by John B. Campbell]
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