The Society of Dread is the second Candle Man book, the sequel to The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance, a middlegrade/YA fantasy novel written by Glenn Dakin.
Do not read the summary or review of this book if you have yet to read the first Candle Man book!!! Avoid spoilers and read my review of The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance instead, here.
Now that Theo Wickland is free of his greedy, secretive, horrible guardian Dr. Saint and has a better understanding of his Candle Man powers, Theo looks forward to a happier, normal life. Yet it looks like anyone with the original Victorian crime fighter's powers is destined to lead anything BUT a normal, happy life, because soon enough he is called upon to help solve and fight a new mystery.
Odd, malicious creatures are stealing bones from graveyards with nothing but bad intentions, and a legendary place called the Great Furnace has been kindled by a new villain. A new villain without any discernible face, at that! So, Theo must combat his reluctance to get involved and embrace his legacy and his feared touch, which can melt anyone as if they are the wax on a burning candle.
Now as an admitted and honestly addicted bibliophile, I have certain traditions I follow. Whenever I read a follow-up in a series I first reread however many books have come beforehand. In my book-addled mind, I believe this to be necessary. Problem is, I have come into a bit of a new book influx, which is really not much of a problem and more of an excellent relief to my bookish needs - but this required me to read Candle Man's Book Two without rereading the first book... Oh dear was this a struggle for me and habitual tendencies. :)
But it wasn't hard to remember how much I loved the first book in the series, and I was eager to jump into The Society of Dread, which is an adventure/fantasy and features a 14-year-old hero.
One of my favorite things about Glenn Dakin's writing style is how, though The Society of Dread is supposed to be taking place in present-day London, there is a sensation of there being no exact time period for the novel. In this, I must yet again compare this awesome book to the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, as I did with the first novel, which is nothing but a HUGE compliment from me.
The Candle Man series has a graphic novel/comic book feel in its depiction's of villains, creatures, and the mythology of a descendant's power passed down to young Theo. I also feel shades of noir at its best with a cool, unique fantasy twist. The entire novel has strong visuals and luxurious descriptions that call to mind Tim Burton movies. This mix is nothing but excellence!
When it comes to our main character, Theo, his secluded, limited life causes both great humor and also an endearing quality that makes his "reluctant hero" shtick anything but a cliche.
The switching viewpoints, weirdly-cool new case, sense of danger, and genuinely moody and suspenseful atmosphere keeps Book Two of the Candle Man saga moving at a quick pace. Add to that suspicious new characters, returning favorites, witty dialogue, and creepy, shadowy, original creatures - you've got magic.
Candle Man's world is easy to get wrapped up in, involved in, and love - just like other "young" fantasy novels, like Harry Potter. You honestly care for the characters and plots, there's twists galore, and an especially shocking revelation near the end that only reaffirms my assertion that this series is an awesome, entertaining read for ALL ages!
Though the end was satisfying and great, it left me wanting Book Three quite a bit, which is apparently titled The Way of the Dodo. But it's not coming out until spring 2012?!?!
Oh well. Maybe with all that time to wait I'll get a chance to satiate my bibliophile tradition and reread the first two books before the third, eh? ;)
IMPORTANT NOTE: I notified all the winners of the Werelove contest today! And I sent out all the discount codes!!! However, there were 4 people who entered without an email address and therefore don't have their discount code! Will the following people please email me at MrsRonWeasley87@aol.com:
"debb" Debby Ct
Thanks to everyone for entering!!!