Title: Old Beginnings (The Forgotten Slayer Series Book 1)
Author: Alix Marsh
Genre: Fantasy/Urban Paranormal Middle Grade/Teen
Length: 182 pages
Publish Date: 3rd December 2013
Buy Links: Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H2NILV8
The first book in Flynn Heath’s magical world of amazing powers, dark demons, a perfectly mundane family at home and extraordinary friends at his new school, which happens to be a Demon Slayer Academy.
Flynn Heath is just an ordinary boy, living a very ordinary life in the perfectly pleasant village of Little Rislin. Until, one day, he mistakenly pledges his blood, honour and soul to a mysterious stranger and before he knows it, he’s enrolled into the finest (and only) demon slayer academy in the country.
But there’s a dark force swimming through the demon-infested undertow of the ordinary world, a king demon shaking loose the shackles that have him bound in Hades. Maybe Flynn’s pledge wasn’t some random mistake after all.
Sometimes, there’s a very good reason for a slayer to stay forgotten.
I was sent a copy of this book last month and breezed through it yesterday. This book felt very familiar to me in places. Not because I knew the characters or because I have read it before. It’s because it borrows themes from other popular books. Much like Buffy the vampire Slayer had no idea about all of the things that go bump in the night, Flynn Heath was also blissfully unaware that demons existed, let alone that he was slated to become a slayer of demons. Similar to the kiddies in Harry Potter, he is sent off to a boarding school for “special” children to learn the craft of demon hunting and slaying. The Harry Potter similarities don’t stop there, either. He immediately befriends two kids in the school – a male and a female who are both in his ‘house”. Yep…they also have houses that the kids are sorted into (although they are sorted by their lineage, not by a sorting ceremony). The female friend, she tells him to call her Ice, is even a bit of a bookworm like Hermione (though she is more prone to break rules like a Weasley). They even have a bit of a rivalry with one of the houses, which has a character that feels that he and his house are better than the others (sound familiar?) Finally, it has a shared theme with the Percy Jackson stories in that there is a prophecy about one special child being born that is destined to be able to destroy the father of all demons. Guess what unsuspecting kid that is?
Now, you might think that with all of these similarities, the story might be stale or annoying. That’s far from the truth. I found myself thoroughly engaged in the story. The familiar themes only ensured that I enjoyed the story. After all, I love all three of the stories I mentioned above. The author was able to borrow ideas from other successful stories and weave a completely different story from them. The book isn’t very long (and considering the target audience, this is not surprising) and I was actually disappointed when it ended because I wanted to see what would happen next.
I think that this is a great story for anyone who loves fantasy – regardless of your age. Shoot, one part of the book had me jumping up to turn my light back on (I read it on my son’s Kindle). Lol! I can’t wait to read more about Flynn, his friends, and this prophecy.
Currently residing in Berkshire, England, Alix Marsh has lived in many places between South Africa and England, including a village very much like Little Rislin. No demon sightings yet, although Alix is always vigilant and prepared.
Old Beginnings launches the first book in the magical, urban paranormal series of The Forgotten Slayer
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AlixMarshAuthor