Relic Master: The Dark City by Catherine Fisher

Our mission at Boys Do Read is to suggest material that boys would be interested, regardless of genre or target audience, within certain parameters.  We aren't likely to suggest something that doesn't have immediate, obvious appeal, with mushy pastel covers or challenging plot lines that we have to convince guys to get to like.  It's not like we don't want them to read those books, but if they are hesitant or picky readers, will they ever take them?

Even so, there are some things look the part, but I just can't recommend them.  Not because they aren't suited to boys; more like, they just aren't very good.

Here is one that looks like a good fit for boys: it's fantasy; it has a teen boy as a lead character; there's mystery and, allegedly, action.

The Makers are an old, vanished civilization who had powerful abilities and tolls they left behind, and the order of Relic Masters have the ability to manipulate and use these relics. The outlawed Order are out and about searching for a powerful Relic, an item left behind by the Makers.  The Watch are the ruling power in the land, and they have outlawed the Order and are seeking the relics too, allegedly to destroy them.  Relic Master Galen and his 16-year-old apprentice Raffi are out searching, and find themselves forced to do some dirty work for a crook, and end up being spied upon and eventually infiltrated by a young member of the Watch (a girl, no less!)

I found the plot very thin.  Not a lot happens, and what does happen doesn't feel fully thought out.  At one point, they are headed to an old city that seems mysterious and possibly destroyed, and is huge ("millions of streets", claim more than one character), and seems like a huge deal to get to.  I thought the whole series would be a quest to get there, but they were there in no time, with little difficulty, and once they were there, a bunch of plot points come together a little too conveniently.

I couldn't figure out the motivations for most of the characters or what the point was, really.  I know there are sequels and I may give them a try, as they might explain what's going on, but for the first book of a series, it doesn't do a very good job of world-building.

This is apparently a YA book, but it feels a bit younger to me.  The writing is pretty simple and the spacing of the lines and the words is huge, so it feels like they did it to pad the page count to 376.  It took me no time to read (just under 2 hours, though I consider myself a fast reader).

While I can't really recommend it in general (to boys or girls), I will concede that there is an interesting hook at the end.  The identity of the Makers is...

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  1. Anonymous said...:

    I am on pg 24 as of this moment and I do consider myself a fast reader as well. I do agree with you on the spacing between lines, I find that I feel like a twelve year old again. But so far its pretty good for me. Maybe its just because I like catherine fisher. Anyway I feel as if I'm rambling so I'll stop.
    P.s. I like your blog title only because you don't seem offended by calling yourself a boy.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    great reveiw! definatley want to read or buy the book. Thanks!!!

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I like lollipops

  1. Anonymous said...:

    i hate this book it suks

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Chicken goes bawk bawk cow goes moo, horse goes neigh and gollem goes
    " my preshus"

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