Monday, December 3, 2012

{Review} Tempo Thompson and Deadly Mountain by Justin Black

ASIN #: B008N8Z06U
File Size: 766 KB
Page Count: 353
Copyright: July 19, 2012
Publisher: Justin Black

Book Summary:
(Taken from Goodreads)

The eleven-year-old, curly-haired, eye-brow raising Tempo Thompson moves to Sabrise, Michigan after leaving from the town he has known all his life. But in the shadowy streets of Sabrise lies a darker history to be discovered. The curious Tempo discovers a magical world that is inhabited by genies and gypsies. However, these magical beings are different from what Tempo has known them to be, which is for the better. With the help of his genie, he embarks in this magical world learning it's (sic) wonders and it's (sic) dangers; dangers of mass murders and kidnappings in his genie's home. Along the way, Tempo is drawn into his friends' troubles which at a point puts his life in peril.

Kathy's Review:

This book follows the same formula as many of the other YA "supernatural" novels I've read for review in the past year or so. New kid in town, makes friends with a ragtag bunch of people, has a random enemy right from the get-go, discovers something magical, gets into adventure. But this time ... the paranormal aspect is ... wait for it ... genies! Not the kind that are in the lamp, though. These genies can "fuse" with a person and perform spells and transform into animals and stuff like that.

Overall, I think this story has some good elements. I liked the characters, for the most part, although there may have been too many to keep track of. I was intrigued by the murder that took place in Tempo's home, and it seems that there is more to come with this storyline in future installments. I thought the writing was age-appropriate for the tween crowd, and the dialogue was witty and funny at times, but I strongly advise the author to go back and have a real editor read this. There are some major grammar problems throughout, words completely misused, etc. On the back cover (and on the book summary above), the word "its" is inappropriately written as "it's." Twice. Inexcusable. If you're going to take the time to self-publish, then find someone who can edit your work before you do it!

Also, the author did his own illustrations, and honestly ... they're not that great. I think I could have done these illustrations and trust me, I'm no Picasso. Look at the cover, for example. Each chapter has an illustration on the opening page, and they're about the same skill level. I seriously feel bad saying that because I know that I couldn't do any better - but I guess my point is, if you're not a bona fide artist and you want your book to have illustrations, find a bona fide artist!

I think it's time to retire this storyline. I've seen it time and time again from aspiring authors. J. K. Rowling had major success with Harry Potter, but I'd say that ship has sailed. Or, let's mix it up a bit. Let's have the school bully be the one who discovers the magic, and he uses his genie to play pranks on other kids. I don't know. Just something different.

With some professional editing, and perhaps removing some of the more over-used YA cliches in the plot, I think this has the potential to be a fun and engaging read for young readers.

*A paperback copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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