Glenn Dakin

Egmont (2009)

ISBN: 978 1 4052 4676 7

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

Theo has lived his whole life hidden away in a mansion, knowing only three people: Dr Saintly, Mr Nicely, and the maid, Clarice. Everything he knows he has learned from books. He’s never been anywhere or done anything, except get his “treatment” from the Mercy Tube. Theo doesn’t even know what it is treatment for. Then one day, his whole life is turned inside out when he is liberated by the Society of Unrelenting Vigilance, a secret society that have been in opposition to Dr Saintly for a very long time, with Theo, and his strange power, torn in the middle. But where did his power come from? Who ARE the Society, and what do they want from him? The answers will take the reader on a rollercoaster ride of action, excitement and terror in a whirlwind of adventure and discovery.

Dakin has produced a thrilling story in Candleman, that manages to be both full of suspense and a highly accessible and enjoyable read. The characters are intentionally caricaturish in their description but still believable in their interactions, and while the story is a steam-punkish fantasy, I became quite immersed in the details and setting.

This is quite scary in some places, so be wary with younger readers, but it certainly hit the buttons for a great story that should appeal to boys and girls aged nine and over. The cover is not terribly appealing and looks like it’s aiming at an older audience than the story warrants, so it may need the “hand sell”, but I have no doubt it will be enjoyed!