Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blog Tour: The Bad Apple by Clay Held + INT Giveaway!

Title: The Bad Apple
Author: Clay Held
Genre: Middle Grade, Paranormal Fantasy
Source: The author as part of the blog tour

Goodreads rating: out of 5.00
Goodreads | Amazon

14-year-old Simon Warner isn't having a very good October. To start with, he drowned, and then the real trouble started. Next thing he knows, he's back among the living, and face-to-face with a
ghoulish-looking man who kidnaps his adopted father. Enter Nathan Tamerlane, a bonafide wizard, and soon Simon is deep in the hidden world of the supernatural, walking among the Freemancers: a secret society of wizards, and the stewards of all magic on Earth. 

Soon the truth is revealed: Simon's birth parents are wicked sorcerers who betrayed the Freemancers years ago before going into hiding. Making matters worse, a cruel and xenophobic warlock named Silas Darrow is gathering his followers (some would say worshipers) to lead an assault on the non-magical world. Now, if Simon ever wants to see his adopted father again, he's going to have to join Darrow's cult. Easier said than done. All it takes is one moment of weakness, and a powerful evil will infest Simon's soul forever.

Review by Nara

Many years later, Simon would look back and remember how quiet it was the first time he died.

Well. That was sudden. From the first line of the novel, you get the feeling that The Bad Apple is probably going to be a somewhat intense read. Full of mystery and action, this novel is one that middle grade readers would probably really enjoy.

Simon, whose parents are wizards, has been raised as a normal non-magical human (so tempted to write Muggle...) his entire life. One day, his adopted father is kidnapped, and he's thrust into this unknown world of magic. There is some very nice world building- the rules of the magic were quite interesting, and clearly well thought out. The many mysteries throughout help build up the pace- who exactly are Simon's parents? What is this Other Voice which keeps speaking to Simon? Who are the Folk?

Simon as a character was pretty typical of a middle grade protagonist, except that he was ridiculously impulsive for someone introduced to a whole new world with different rules. You'd think he'd at least be a bit cautious, and think about things before acting, but nope. The supporting characters were also pretty interesting, with none of them being particularly cliched or annoying.

Towards the end, there are some major action scenes. High tension and, strangely, lots of running away (which, you know, faced with an evil wizard and his gazillion minions is probably quite reasonable). There is an interesting ending, which isn't a cliffhanger, but there is still the promise of more adventure to come and more mysteries to be solved. (Also, still waiting on finding out what the Other Voice is...) Overall, I'd say that this is a nice read for younger readers.

Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 5/5

  • Giveaway open internationally!
  • There will be three winners. One will win an ecopy of The Bad Apple, one an ecopy of The Nighttime Tales Volume 1 and the last an ecopy of The Boogeyman Blanket. The books will be sent directly from the tour organiser, and will be in mobi/Kindle format.
  • Giveaway ends on the 21st of July.
  • Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond, whereupon their details will be forwarded to the tour organiser.

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