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Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance

The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance is the first book in a planned trilogy named Candle Man by Glenn Dakin.

The plot centers on teenage Theo who has been brought up in what would basically be described a “secluded” way. You see, he’s been told since he can remember that he has a serious and dangerous illness involving his hands, which means Theo wears special gloves. Thing is, his guardian, Mr. Saint, and his ever-present butler, Mr. Nicely (I know, awesome names, right?!) have kept Theo so cut off from the outside world, that he can’t help but thirst for knowledge of the rest of England.

So as soon as Theo has the opportunity to escape the confines of his room, he takes it. Even if he is rather frightened and unprepared for what lies ahead of him.

What he doesn’t realize until later is, his guardian might not be such a “saint”, nor his butler quite as “nice” as he always believed. And maybe he has a true ancestor; someone called reverently the “Candle Man”. And maybe there’s an evil conspiracy at works.

And maybe, just maybe, Theo is the only one who can stop it.

With a title like The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance, I already had a feeling I would like it. And guess what?

I did. :)

I liked it quite a bit actually! Right away there was a hint of A Series of Unfortunate Events in the style of writing (not quite as many vocabulary definition pauses, though, lol) and zest of characters. That’s a plus right away, in my Lemony-Snicket-lovin’ opinion.

But the plot itself was original, fun, engaging, and had just the right amount of seriousness and depth to make it more than just a fluff book (which I have nothing against – I just do appreciate some sincerity). Theo is truly a sympathetic, likeable character. Glenn Dakin manages to make him na├»ve without making him stupid, and sweet without being wimpy.

The whole cast of characters are flavorful and attention grabbing – and the action is actually rather thrilling! The fantasy elements and creatures were well executed – and, again, quite unique and interestingly incorporated into the plot. I think you’ll know what I mean when you read it.

I don’t want to give too much away, is pretty much what I’m saying. As always. ;)

I think the point is: There are actually twists to give away, which means you should NOT pass on The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance just because it may say “Middle Grade” or “Ages 10 and up”.

Most of us bibliophiles know better than to pay any attention to these labels – since an awesome book knows no age limits! But I was once, alas, a simple-minded bibliophile-in-training that for a time did pay attention to such things – so I warn any that are as I once was.

Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance is a witty, smart, entertaining fantasy novel that left me quite, ahem, “vigilantly” looking out for the next book in this trilogy. ;)
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