Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance

Candle Man, book one of the Society of Unrelenting Vigilance by Glenn Dakin

Take superpowers, old school detecting, and secret societies and throw a superhero into the mix and what do you get? Candle Man, book one of the Society of Unrelenting Vigilance.

As one might gather from the description above, the story is rather ridiculous and yet author Glenn Dakin takes his story very seriously- a bit too seriously to be truly enjoyable.

Young Theo has spent his life in Empire Hall. His life is completely controlled by Dr. Saint, who ensures that Theo receives ‘treatments’ for his ‘condition. Is Theo really sick? Or does he have otherworldly powers? When he escapes from the house, his adventures include strange creatures, superheros, and super villains, all with a slightly steampunk flair.

While the novel is entertaining, Theo isn’t likable enough to carry the story- his sympathies with the bad guys, while an attempt at depth and reality, are out of place in a character who is, as a child, susposed to smarter than adults and a superhero to boot.

With other mysterious series available (Series of Unfortunate Events, the Sisters Grimm, the Mysterious Benedict Society, and (to be released in March) the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place) Dakin would have been better off picking one idea (secret societies, detecting, superheros, superpowers) and running with it.

Certainly a noble effort, I hope the sequels will be more developed- revealing the intricacies of the characters with a tighter and more fluidly moving plot.

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