Publication Date: June 8, 2012
Porter Collins is a slayer who kills Mythics (creatures that the human race doesn’t believe exist). Sarah is a 16-year-old Sphinx who has been isolated for her own protection. When Sarah’s home is invaded by slayers she must transport herself to safety. She soon realizes that Porter has been trapped in her transportation ring and has lost his memory. If Porter’s memory returns he will kill Sarah and while she realizes the danger, she can’t bring herself to kill him. Will they be able to find home and both stay alive.
Alex and I had planned to review this novel together. In the opening scene when Porter enters the building and cuts off the head of a shape shifter, 11-year-old Alex was out. Perhaps her exit is a compliment to the author on how well and realistically the scene was written. The cover may lead a reader to believe that the target demographic is 9-12, and probably some children of that age group would revel in the blood. The novel is certainly no more violent than Harry Potter or Percy Jackson series. Porter does the deed, revels in the decapitation and moves on with his life.
The Slayer and the Sphinx: Book 1 (Volume 1) seeks to teach children to judge others for themselves and to think differently about those who are different. The moral is somewhat heavy handed, but done in such a way that I believe that children would remain engaged in the story. I know adults who “pre-read” for their children and they may find the message heavy handed but positive.
Children will love the idea of a world going on behind the scenes of our own world. The Sphinx family is prestigious, but of course, no one knows that they’re not ordinary, everyday humans. The narrative does get hung up here and there, but overall flows pretty smoothly from one challenge to the next.
In a lot of ways, this novel suffers from the first book curse. The author is getting to know the characters as we do and how they would react to certain situations. He’s getting to know them and fleshing them out on the table, so to speak. I believe as Bolander continues the story his writing and knowledge of the characters will only improve. The Slayer and the Sphinx: Book 1 (Volume 1) is only the first part of what is sure to be an ongoing series. The first novel to my mind, ends with a pretty impressive cliff hanger that will carry on the story line in future novels. There’s a hint at a romance story which may not appeal to what appears to be the target audience.
[easyazon-link asin=”1477623175″ locale=”us”]The Slayer and the Sphinx: Book 1 (Volume 1)[/easyazon-link]overall feels like half a book. I believe that children from 12-14 will enjoy the characters and world and look forward with eagerness to the next installment.
Be sure to check out Adam Bolander’s pages (short stories) for free reading.