What happens when you put a clever modern-day seventeen-year-old into the middle of a serious High Fantasy novel?

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Shadowmagic by John Lenahan


Shadowmagic is a rip roaring fun fantasy adventure novel by John Lenahan very loosely based on Irish mythology where every chapter ends on the edge of a cliff (or at least a high curb.) Join Conor as he grapples with typical teenage problems like, how to deal with a father’s high expectations, how to survive in the world on your own and how to woo a beautiful girl – that wants you dead. Shadowmagic a podcast novel for young adults from 12 to 112.

High Point

This book has a great sense of humor without getting silly or stupid. Often, High Fantasy gets a little full of itself and Shadowmagic shoves a spear right through it.

Low Point

Not sure about the ending. Can’t tell if Lenahan was going for a sequel or just didn’t know where to leave off. It’s ends well enough. Maybe I was just so engrossed I just didn’t want an ending.

The Scores

Originality: A very clever way to spin the old quest story. 5/6

Story: The story alternates from funny to serious with good transitions in between. Conor never loses his cheeky attitude, even in the face of certain death. 4/6

Imagery: Decently done. It seems best during action scenes. 4/6

Characterization: Like most first-person stories, it does a great job of revealing what the narrator is going through, but not much else. Though Conor is a reliable narrator and gives us a decent view of things. 4/6

Emotional Response: This is very good. Very funny. Very charming. You get attached to Conor and his adventure. 5/6

Production: Great job. Lenahan has a great voice and good recording style. Of course, Red Dwarf fans already know this. 5/6

Overall: It’s a good and quick listen and is great for the family to listen to. Lenahan goes out of his way to make sure the book is appropriate for “younger ears.” 5/6

Total Score: 32 out of 42