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Malice: A Young Adult Horror Novel Worth Looking Into
Malice by Chris Wooding
Malice by Chris Wooding
So I was in my neighborhood thrift store and I found this oddity of a book. It was this very thick young adult novel with a pop out cover featuring tall creepy man in a trench coat. The book was called Malice. Caught off guard by the catchy and somewhat obnoxious bulkiness of the book, I looked further into it. On inspection, I found that it was part written in pros and part written as a graphic novel and the story was meant to be a horror tale for young adults surrounding a haunted comic book. Curiosity ate away at me, and I had to buy it. So here is my review of the book Malice by Chris Wooding.
So what is the book about? The story surrounds an urban legend. The legend states that children drawn in the horror comic Malice are real kids dragged to that hellish world by a figure called Tall Jake. Rumor is, if the kid have the book open while he (or she) burns a few household items in a book while saying Tall Jake three times, Tall Jake will come and take the child away. And it’s all fun and games among a ground of friends until Luke, one day, disappears after the ritual. Of the friends, Kady and Seth investigate into the myth as their Luke is never found. They discover a conspiracy with monsters and their henchmen in our world and eventually get pulled into the nightmare world of Malice that Luke was lost to.
So the good? This book is a true surprise. In the world of young adult novels focusing on love triangles or fallen dystopias, this stands out. It’s fresh, original, and incredibly enjoyable. The characters felt and acted like kids, and were very well developed. The rules of Malice were surprisingly well defined with the comic world and the real world. And oddly enough, this story was actually creepy. There were moments I thought to myself, “If this had curing or just a little more gore, this could be considered an actual horror novel.” I mean it felt unlike any young adult novel I read. It felt more like a very well unwritten Freddy Kruger fan fiction at many times. There’s this edge of your seat sense of dread as you read this. Also, this Freddy Kruger god like villain of Tall Jake, I thought was great as well.
The bad? The book for the first half had this interesting method of storytelling. When stuff was happening in the real world it had a written novel format and if it was following a character in the world of Malice it has a graphic noel format. And I like this. I thought it was creative. Then in the second half of the book there were parts that took place that was in the world of Malice but it did not have a comic format and was instead written normally. And that was disappointing. Why start creative story telling like this and give up midway through? Also the detail in some areas needed work. I mean in some parts, I was incredibly thankful for the graphic novel parts because I wouldn’t know what they would look like otherwise. And then the ending. It has no real climax of any sort. It just cuts off randomly with this “To Be Continued” tag and well that’s just lame. It should have been somewhat more conhesive.
Overall, while not perfect this book offers a special kind of originality that I have not seen in a long time. It’s fun. It’s spooky. And it’s a great story. I recommend this to everyone as the originality and fun factor heavily outweigh the short comings.
4 smoothies out of four.
Overall Rating: A Young Adult Horror Novel Worth Looking Into