Saturday, 3 November 2012

Red Flame: Wizards' School by Pamela Shine

Release Date: 13/08/12
Publisher: Upfront Publishing

Pages: 114
Target Audience: Kids

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

Synopsis: Hi, my name is Resha Valentine, I'm a 17 year old wizard who wants to join the strongest Wizards' School, Red Flame. I meet Aiden and Kat, 17 year old twin wizards just like me. Only it turns out they're in the running for the strongest wizards in Red Flame Wizards' School!

Review: Usually I find writing reviews for books pretty straight forward because essentially the authors are all adults with life experience behind them and years of schooling or at least some knowledge of literary skills and devices. Occasionally however, I need to re-evaluate how I look at a book because the author is different. In this case, the author is only 12 years old.

When I think back to when I was twelve there is no way on this earth I had the urge to read much let alone write something. And if I did write stories, I got bored very quickly, so I have to give Pamela Shine full credit for her determination and staying power to the task at hand. To review her like an adult however, would be unfair.

Red Flame: Wizards’ School is a fun fantasy adventure about a group of wizards who go to the Red Flame School, one of many in the world of Wizland. These wizards are given missions and jobs to go on and in the case of some of the wizards, get to go out and cause a lot of trouble (the child in me grinned wickedly at this) and they also get into fights with other competing schools.

The powers the characters have were different to what I usually expect from a book centred on magic. It is often too easy to make your main character super powerful with an insane complicated power, but Pamela has created abilities for her characters which tend to stem from something simple or basic and become surprisingly powerful when used.

The story itself is fast paced and quickly comes to a conclusion without any messing around or going off on a tangent (something some adult authors are guilty of), whereas it  is the way of the teenager or younger person to get the point. Having said that, as an older reader I think I would have liked a bit more explanation as to background and character history and description of the places the events were set. The ability to do this is something I feel she will develop over time and gain with experience, but if I were to give this to a younger person as it stands now I feel they will love it to bits without the added description. As this book is aimed at 8 to 12-year-olds then I think it would be nice if this book got a bit more publicity as I’m sure children in that age group will love it.

One important point to note while reading this, and as a reader it is one of my big sticking points; I hate grammatical errors and I was expecting some from such a young author, but you know what? There were NONE. None what-so-ever. I’ve been known to mark books as DNF because the grammar mistakes are so bad and this book has absolutely none at all. So I give 10/10 for her brilliant spell checking and grammar skills.

If Pamela writes a sequel I will definitely be reading it as I’m interested to follow her career and to see where she goes from here. I’m sure that with more experience and knowledge she will become a very competent adult author. 

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