Review: Colt Humboldt and the Close of Death by TA Anderson

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Publisher: TA Anderson
Publishing Date: February 2014
ISBN: 9781492297857
Genre: Fantasy YA
Rating: 3.8/5.0

Publisher Description: When twelve-year-old Colt Humboldt’s dad drags the two of them from perfectly good Texas to ancient Scotland for a fresh start, Colt knows he’s doomed to a summer as the “new kid”. No friends, no fun, no life as he knows it. Fat chance.
That very first night, the peculiar Alesone and her more peculiar little brother Peter crawl out of Colt’s closet, begging for his help to save their family from a horrible fate.
Fortunately, the secret for doing so is hidden inside a mysterious book. Unfortunately, this book demands that our ragged trio first journey across Scotland and capture three treasures—treasures fiercely protected by a shadowy, treacherous world determined to see Colt fail……preferably by death.
But if Colt and his new friends can survive a horror novel come-to-life, defeat a madman and his minions, win over a disagreeable folklore legend, and discover the shocking reason why Alesone and Peter are just so odd… well, the next two treasures won’t come so easily.

Review: Cover art is quite inventive.

This novel is not just for the YA crowd, all ages should have a good time with it. It is hard to review a novel that is fantastical and glib at the same time as you can’t take the characters or story-line too serious. It’s like scolding a nice dog who did nothing bad.

The writing is good. It has inventive and clever dialogue and a creative story-line. The characters are many and fairly well developed, especially the main characters. Initially, my first review stated that I felt rather Ho-Hum about this and was not very engaged in the novel. Was I too old for it? Is it an easily recognized pattern of writing with no real surprises in development? Initially, yes. About mid-way through the novel starts to rev up and throw a few surprises in the form of “other beings” and clever mini-adventures. The arrow puncturing the Dallas Cowboys helmet was funny as were some of the character names. Vermyne (Vermin) a rat-man.

One reviewer thought that a good editor was needed in order to compress the author’s penchant for rambling on about details. Yeah, I suppose I agree with that. Although I felt that it did not detract in any way from the body of work. The author plans to have a series of Colt Humboldt adventures. He may need to expand his make-believe universe to embrace a grander adventure.

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