Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Other Book by Philip Womack
A boarding school, friends, mysterious magical happenings, suspicious teachers - does any of this sound vaguely familiar? Philip Womack's The Other Book combines each of these aspects into an intriguing and dark work that while perhaps lacking in originality, keeps the reader engaged. Edward Pollock, an avid reader, comes across a mysterious book in his school library. Soon after, things start getting wonky around the campus. Edward is ported to another dimension where he is instructed by a knight of the middle ages to protect the book from those who would use it to destroy the world. Edward reluctantly takes up the challenge, often alone and without the aids of his friends or even cousin. There are some rather detailed and gruesome scenes in this piece which I found interesting. Nothing too over the top - just enough so that readers might latch onto it and think awesome. I enjoyed The Other Book, but I also found it very similar to another well known YA series. Apparently there is no criteria for originality in the Thumbs-Up guidelines - so I can't simply dump it for that alone. I think I have to go thumbs down - because lacking originality often doesn't spur any new thoughts. Does that make sense?