Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Book Review: Jimmy Threepwood and the Veil of Darkness (Jimmy Threepwood # 1) by Rich Pitman
I have just finished reading Jimmy Threepwood and the Veil of Darkness by Richard Pitman. This is a children's epic fantasy novel. It is first in a series. The story revolves around Jimmy Threepwood, a young boy who at the start of the book, is quite miserable. He has no toys and no friends. His mother, when she is not watching her favorite soaps, verbally abuses him. Only his father shows him any kindness. In general, however, Jimmy feels unloved and unwanted. On the day of his eleventh birthday, the truth is revealed. Once a kind, caring woman, Mrs. Threepwood fell ill when pregnant with Jimmy. A ghastly (Grim Reaper-esque) hooded figure makes a deal with the Threepwoods, regarding their son. This creature, known as the Gatekeeper, told the Threepwoods to withhold all love and affection from their son. On his eleventh birthday, the creature would come to collect him and to inform him of his true destiny. Turns out, Jimmy is one of four children, who are destined to destroy the world.
I thought this story was very unusual and interesting. I love looking at things from a "villain's" point of view. Jimmy Threepwood made me think about several interesting concepts, namely good vs. evil and fate vs. choice. I believe we each have several paths laid out for us. Which path we take is dependent upon a specific set of circumstances and the choices that we make. Despite Jimmy being told that he is supposed to destroy the world, he does not want to. From the very beginning, he is different from the other 3 children. He feels compassion for others, such as his classmates and even Talula, one of the other "chosen" children. He feels love for his father, and despite her abuse, he has some semblance of compassion for his mother. Despite the others trying hard to make him as "dark" as they are, they never really succeed.
I liked the character of Jimmy, as well his relationship with his father. Of the other children, I liked Talula the best. Even though she also manipulated Jimmy, I felt that she cared for him in some way. This also may have been because other than Jimmy, we got the most backstory on her. Harry and Percy fell a little flat for me, as did Lyreco. I would be interested in learning more about them in the future. I really liked the concept of the Light Warriors, and Drahcir Namtip was a favorite (clever name). I enjoyed the flashbacks when he arrived on scene. I also enjoyed the challenges the characters faced on their journey to find the map. I did feel that they overcame these challenges a little fast, though.
In technical terms, I felt that some editing was needed. I also felt that there was a lot of exposition early on in the book. I felt sometimes as if I was just being told the answers, instead of being shown. I think that if this was done gradually, it wouldn't feel as jarring as it did to me.
In terms of plotting, I felt that the prologue was excellent and it really hooked me. I also felt that the pacing of the story was appropriate. It moved quickly and I eagerly turned the pages to get to the end. I also enjoyed the ending itself. It intrigued me, and I am looking forward to seeing what the four children discover in Sepura Castle.
My Rating: 3.5 stars