Wednesday 5 June 2013

The Shadow Lantern by Teresa Flavin

Besides, who wants to walk home through that? ‘
She nodded at the wind and rain lashing at the cafe’s picture windows.
‘It’s just a bit of weather. ‘
Ellie shrugged. ‘Or are you scared the ghosties will get you?’
‘I think all the ghosties are in here.’ 
Blaise waved his hand at the Halloween decorations hanging on every wall and door. Ellie laughed and hurried away. ‘And all the ghouls too,’ said Sunni under her breath, looking sideways at a table of boys teasing a girl across the room
‘Wonder how long it’ll Shug and his mates to start on us.’
Published by Templar May 2013
304 pages
Summary from Templar Publishing
The concluding part of the critically acclaimed time slip adventure.
When a mysterious old oil lantern and a box of painted slides appear at Blackhope Tower, Sunni and Blaise are drawn back to the place where their adventures first began. On discovering that the slides conceal secrets about artist-magician Fausto Corvo, the pair find themselves caught up in a deadly pursuit. An old enemy is still tracking Corvo and he will stop at nothing to find him.
Sunni and Blaise must fight to protect Corvo's secrets and rid themselves of Soranzo's evil threat once and for all.
Reviewed by K. M. Lockwood
As can be seen from the attractive cover, this darkly supernatural mystery story will please many readers who love art and magic. Ideally, you need to be good at imagining strange settings, and slipping in and out of different times. It will help if you enjoy books where the point of view shifts so you can see the action from different angles, and you’re happy with a complex plot.
The main struggle involves a raft of characters, all of whom are after a set of magical paintings. There are ghosts and skeletons and a cat that can see strange things – not to mention the weird paintings themselves. There is also a nicely drawn relationship strand – but it’s not over-dominant.
It is the end of the trilogy begun with The Blackhope Enigma and continued with The Crimson Shard. I haven’t read the other two – but I didn’t need to. The author has made a great effort to make sure the reader knows the relevant events from the earlier novels. Similarly, although the contemporary part of the story has a Scottish setting, it could be read by any English speaker from Hawaii to The Philippines without confusion.
It is a story full of striking images– and this is further developed by the use of Teresa Flavin’s own illustrations in the text. Other publishers take note – in a world of graphic novels and highly visual media, this really adds to the book as a whole.
Confident readers of nine and over who like unravelling mysteries and exploring eerie worlds full of artistic creepiness may well enjoy all three books in sequence.

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