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  • By Leo Stableford
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Probably Not The Review That Was Wished For..." To judge a book by its cover for a moment MAGWH looks to be eye-wincingly poor. It’s a bespoke cover but it looks like someone’s thrown some clip art and some funny fonts at the cover and hoped for a better result than they got. But when you think about it, actually going to the trouble to make any kind of a bespoke cover is kind of considerate. More considerate than using a Lulu default cover. And the images are at least somewhat appropriate. And the funky font is actually quite clear and distinct. That’s the book all over. Or at least the way I found it. Don’t get me wrong, most people will hate it. I’m sorry but they will. I am painfully aware that I will forgive a whole heap if the author genuinely seems to care about the people who will be paying to read this opus. To run you through the set up. Grant-Williams high is like a multicultural Sunnydale High and the antics that go on within are some cousin of the antics... More > that took place for four out of the seven seasons that Buffy ran. Our protagonists are wiseacre students and they regularly face off against nasty creatures epitomised by the headmaster who is routinely possessed by the big D. It sounds like it should be terrible and to be fair it isn’t great. But each of the two novellas contained within has a beginning, a middle and an end. Ms. Nazarian has a good grasp of sentence structure and knows how to put a story together. The problem is there’s nothing much here apart from some trite stuff about beating the devil using brain rather than brawn and some unremarkable commentary on what the devil, and evil people, and American high school students are like. The fact of the matter is I would have liked this one hell of a lot less if it had been the other way round. I could follow this story, I could engage with the characters as much as was humanly possible, I really wanted to pull for and like this book and what it was trying to do. That is a huge amount of good work that has been done here. And I’m not going to get all snotty and pretend like it didn’t happen. But it doesn’t change the fact that there is nothing new here. There is nothing personal here. I mean, there are tidbits, multi-culturalism, a melting pot of mythologies, a quick look at Satan himself. In the end, though, it’s all pretty thin on the ground and none of it is in any way revolutionary. Now I don’t want every book I read to be trying to bend my mind with all-new material that challenges the very boundaries of what I thought was possible with genre writing. In fact I’m sick and tired of commercial publishers trying to cram that stuff down my throat. So by revolutionary I don’t mean that. I just mean, a good storyteller will always find something to tell you that you didn’t already know. A really good storyteller will do that more than once in a story. A great storyteller just keeps serving them up and hitting them out of the park. Ms. Nazarian is a good storyteller. A couple of times I thought:”Hey, that’s neat!” That’s plenty for me but most people think they’re owed a lot more out of a work of fiction. So to summarise. This is a fair chunk of teen-oriented gruey fun and for the record I found it far better than anything I ever read by Darren Shan. But it’s not superb, I am not so jaded as to not be nurturing a hope for better things in this author’s future. A nice read if you like the kind of thing it’s about, but not essential.< Less
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Product Details

First Edition Omnibus
Vera Nazarian
September 16, 2006
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.52 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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