04 February, 2010

Review - Malice by Chris Wooding

Malice, by Chris Wooding bookChris Wooding has been getting lots of love lately with such books as Storm Thief, The Fade, and Retribution Falls (all on my massive To-Read pile) and when I found out that his latest, Malice, was a mixture of a comic book and novel, I couldn't resist.

My copy of Malice was actually won from SciFiGuy, which is also the same place I first heard about the novel.

Published in 2009, Malice
is an age 12+ novel that really appeals to the inner kid in all of us and, I have to say I, had a great time reading it even though I like to call myself an adult.

The Setup

Seth is just your average kid, with possibly an above average sense of right and wrong. When your friend's in trouble, there's no backing out. You have to help no matter what ... especially if he's been trapped inside an evil comic book with no way of escape.

At least his best friend, Kady, is there when the going gets tough, except that she (and everyone else for that matter) refuse to believe that a comic book could do such a thing. That's at least until Seth performs the ritual, calls out "Tall Jake, take me away!" the required six times and disappears the very next day. Now everything's depending on her.

My Take in Brief

I don't think this story would have been nearly as good if it weren't for the comic panels spread throughout the book. It played perfectly into the story. You'd have this creepy sense of dread and the next page would be completely black with a snippet of sentence. Or the action is mounting and on the next page you actually see the creepy monsters and machines that inhabit the world of Malice with the kids running away. (note of clarification: on average it's about 30 to 50 pages of written word to about 10 pages of comics)

This was a great idea and a fun book to read. Malice really fulfills all expectations and then some. Not only could I not put the book down, but I honestly started to feel like Malice was an actual place. I only have a few gripes in that sometimes it was hard to follow the action in comics. The style works, but it can be difficult in some of the panels.

Another thing is that this is only the beginning of the story and it ends very much in the middle of some key events.

When Should You Read This?

For me, reading is very much a mood thing. Sometimes I've got to read something medieval while other times I need something urban. I like to add this section so you know when this book will fit in. If you are in the mood for some fun, which doesn't overtax you by any means, then Malice might be for you.

I would recommend Malice to anyone who wants to feel like a kid again, but still gets creeped out looking over your shoulder for Tall Jake to come get you. And if you have kids, they'd probably love this too.

I also look forward to the next installment, Havoc, coming out soon.

Ratings and Links

Amazon: 4/5
B&N: 4.67/5
My Rating 4/5 (loved it, buy it if this piqued your interest)

Malice (2009) [US][UK]


ediFanoB said...

Yesterday Bryce has been introduced and today you can read his first review on the blog.

Well done!

Unknown said...

Bryce, good first review congratulations. I am disappointed that this is your first taste of Wooding. Tsk, tsk.

I have read a few and I gotta say I am a fan as well. Again, congratulations on the first review looking forward to more reviews from you.

Bryce L. said...

Hey thanks guys.

Would you recommend Retribution Falls as a follow up, Ty? I saw you read The Fade as well, which sounded really good too. I'm trying to correct my past transgressions. :)

D Swizzle said...

I love Chris Wooding. You should read the Storm Thief or Poison.

Bryce L. said...

@Dannie, will do, thanks for the heads up.

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