On Monday, Caleb E. King’s debut novel, A Silence in the Shadows, released!
Since I’m on Caleb’s street team, I go to read an ARC (advanced reader copy) before it was published. My younger brother also read it and wrote a review of his own.
Now I have several things to share in this post, so let’s start with the interview! As usual, my questions are in bold and Caleb’s responses are in regular text.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure! I’m a homeschooled teen and a grateful child of God. I started writing when I was eight and haven’t stopped since. Besides writing I love reading, drawing, and hanging out with my friends.
You’ve been writing much longer than I have! When did you start writing A Silence in the Shadows?
July 23rd, 2016
Wow! It’s impressive you remember the exact date! What inspired it?
Well, I remember wanting to make a story with the main characters cool ninja-like people, and have them infiltrating castles and fighting their enemies. That’s basically what it sparked from, and then the story just unfolded from there!
Do you have a favorite memory from writing A Silence in the Shadows?
Hmm, I actually don’t remember a lot of the writing process of it…some of the dialogue was really fun to write though.
Dialogue is always fun to write! Which authors have inspired you the most?
J. R. R. Tolkien, Chuck Black, and Andrew Peterson!
I’ve read at least one thing by all of those authors! Do you like to listen to music while you write?
I used too, but not so much anymore. I haven’t tried it in a while though…I may try it again.
What is your favorite Bible passage (or verse)?
I don’t think I really have a certain favorite, but I like Psalms 100 and 111 a lot!
I know! It’s so hard to choose! Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?
Yep! I enjoy reading, drawing, making my own comic books, and creating 2-D animations! I also make films with my friends!
That’s awesome! What’s next on your writing journey?
TAKE A BREAK. Then I think I’m going to re-write a couple short stories I wrote a while ago. After that, it’ll be on to the next book!
Enjoy your break, Caleb! Thank you for letting me interview you!
Want to know more about Caleb? Follow him on his blog! www.calebeking.wordpress.com
(Keep scrolling for book reviews!)
Book Review Time!
When the Willii brothers, Jered and Faal, discover a close friend is actually a wizard in disguise, they are thrown into a conflict bigger than they ever imagined. Sure, they knew the tax collectors were evil, but they didn’t know they oppressed more than just the Willii’s village.
They also didn’t know their friend’s ex-apprentice is the man behind it all.
And they are the only two people who can stop him.
After the tax collectors burn the brother’s village, the two boys join the Silents—masters of stealth and hand-to-hand combat—in order to find a way to defeat the tyrannical reign of the rouge wizard.
Overall, I thought this was a good story. I haven’t read middle-grade in a while, so please note my comments come from the perspective of a YA author and reader. 😊
I enjoyed the relationship between the two brothers, Jered and Faal. It felt realistic—they neither hated each other nor got along all the time. I can’t decide which brother I like better—serious Jered or mischievous Faal.
My favorite character was actually Belak. He seemed to have an interesting backstory and I would have liked to learn a bit more about him.
I really liked all the fantasy creatures Caleb created. I could picture them really well.
If I could be in this book, I’d be a Silent. They’re basically like ninjas and ninjas are cool. And magical ninjas are even cooler. 🐱👤
The ending was really good. I didn’t expect it, but it was awesome!
A few things I didn’t like:
- There were too many fight scenes. Every few pages it seemed like the characters were fighting the tax collectors.
- The point-of-view character shifted a bunch. It made it hard to follow, particularly during action scenes.
- The side characters were a bit hard to tell apart and flat.
There was a lot of fighting, but I don’t think there was anything graphic. A few mentions of blood. Lots of bad guys die. (Someone explodes at the end.)
Since Jered and Faal have wizard powers, there is magic. They don’t use it very much and it’s more like “using the Force” than spell and potion magic. It’s not anywhere close to witchcraft. The main villain did cast a spell on his minions, but that’s all.
There was no romance whatsoever, which was nice, so the reader can focus more on the brothers’ relationship.
It was completely free of language!
Book Review Two!
This review was written by my brother!
In “A Silence In the Shadows” by Caleb E. King, Jered and Faal Willii are plunged into a desperate battle against the evil rejected wizard apprentice, Ath, after their old friend Flogii tells them that they have the potential to become wizards.
They will meet and receive powers from an old hermit wizard in the mountains, and will discover who the so-called “tax collectors” really are. When the odds become too great for the two boys, they are rescued by a masked warrior… and plunged into the world of the resistance fighters, the Silents.
They train hard and become fast friends with members of the Silents such as Crater, Belak, and Angela. They race in a desperate rush to stop Ath from being able to control everyone with the Melker stone. It comes down to a final battle between the boys and Ath to determine whether the world is broken or saved. But you have to read the book to find out who wins!
Personally, my favorite person was Jered. I thought the relationship between the two boys was interesting, and Flogii being a wizard was very surprising. My favorite parts were the battles , and that the Silents were basically ninjas (of course, being a boy, I’m more prone to like things like that than others). Something I really appreciated was that there wasn’t any romance (barf!). Overall I’d give this a 5-star rating.