Welcome to novel cooking 101.
Let’s start with a box of Tolkien’s instant heroic quest mix, stir in a cup or two of steam punk, add a dash of Japanese anime, a sprinkle of religious allegory and just a hint of science fiction. Stir briskly with your Hogwarts issued wand and pop it into your literary easy bake oven and wait for the timer to go ‘ping’.
DARK & DAY BOOK ONE
“Journey to a world torn between Dark & Day! It is earth like you have never seen it; a sphere of mythical creatures, epic adventures and lurking mysteries!
Jonothon Wyer is the scrawniest kid in the Twilight Ring. His only hope to become healthy & whole is to join the army of the Empress of the Dark End. On his last fateful wake at home, Jono makes an unexpected discovery that thrusts him into the center of an age old conflict between the Dark & Day.
Join Jono as he learns to trust new friends, outwit mythical monsters, explore amazing realms and uncover the terrible mystery that is tearing the world apart!”
What do you have? Well what you should have by all rights is a gooey half-baked mess, but in the case of Dark & Day from author Israel Grey – what you get is a hugely entertaining, richly imagined, unabashedly quirky tale that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a big sprawling mess of a novel but it is such an interesting mess and it totally worked for me. A bonus (for me anyway) were the well done illustrations sprinkled liberally throughout the book. This book was assigned for me to review which was a stroke of luck because I probably wouldn’t have come across this little gem otherwise.
Dark & Day Book One follows the adventures (and misadventures) of a sickly young boy named Jonothan Wyer who turns out to be the only hope for a world completely divided by a conflict between day and night as well as technology and magic. The plot meanders wildly at points but gets to where it is going in the end and the ride is completely enjoyable. One of the things I enjoyed most about the story is that the lines between good and evil drift in and out of grey areas and nobody is quite who or what they seem. Most of the characters are fully fleshed out but there are a few that are mostly cardboard cut outs which while disappointing didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the book in any real way.
I give this strange and wonderful book four bananas and I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the Dark & Day series.