Tuesday 14 February 2017

Review on Blue Screen of Death

When Colby Stevens is six years old, his father mysteriously disappears. Ten years later, the magic contained within Colby that his father tried to suppress comes to the surface, and Colby must learn how to control it. With the help of #Magic, an app Colby creates to help him control and understand the runes, Colby must learn to use Emassa, the source of his magic. However, danger lurks around every corner in the form of Shizumu, demon-like creatures who posses people. With the help of a blue cat and his best friend Gary, Colby must discover the secrets of his past, while attempting to protect his fellow classmates.

I thought this book seemed really interesting, and I loved the unique idea of magic and technology being combined. We are used to seeing magic in technology devoid settings, where it either doesn't exist, or isn't used, so I loved how the two were successfully combined. The book follows Colby, a sixteen year old boy who has recently discovered he possesses magic. Colby was an interesting and likeable character, although he did have a tendency to get angry easily, causing him to lose control over his magic. I loved how he adapted to his new ability, even going so far as creating an app to help him with his struggles of understanding the runes.

The characters were interesting, and I especially loved Gary, Colby's best friend. I feel as if there is always a lot of rivalry between teenage boys in YA novels, so I loved that they had a strong relationship and never argued. It was clear that the boys cared for each other a lot, and I think there definitely needs to be more friendships like theirs in YA fantasy.

Sadly what let the book down slightly for me was two of the female characters, Darla and Rhea. Although I was happy that a romantic relationship didn't form between Colby and one of the girls, I found them to be quite dull, and thought Darla to be quite annoying, especially her constant flirting with Colby, who towards the end of the book didn't seem to be interested in her at all. However, as is it was hinted at that the girls may possess their own powers, I'm hoping I like them more in the rest of the series.

Although Jasper was Colby's main bully, I couldn't help but feel that there was more to him than met the eye. Until they went to different schools, Colby and Jasper were best friends, so this made me wonder what had happened to make Jasper start to bully Colby. There is usually a reason behind why children bully others, which usually stems from their personal lives, so rather than hating Jasper, I was more concerned about why he had changed so much. I think Jasper has potential as a character, so I would love to see some character development instead of keeping him as a mindless bully.

I though Fizzlewink was the most interesting character, an alien in the form of a little blue man who often disguises himself as a cat. Although I loved learning how he got stuck on Earth, I found it to be a bit of an info dump, and I feel as if I still don't fully understand his backstory. I also found myself being completely lost over the runes, as although they were meant to be complicated, I thought my brain was going to explode when the rules were being explained. As Colby later goes on to create an app that deals with the runes, I found making everything into a complex explanation a little unnecessary.

I was a little confused over who the intended audience for the book was. The plot itself felt like a children's book, as it involves magic, school and a talking cat. However, there is quite a bit of swearing in the book, which I felt was the only grown up theme in this book I felt this was a bit of a shame, as with all the adventure, talking cats, magic and lack of romance, I felt as if it could have been a book that could be enjoyed by all ages.
I overall enjoyed this book, and am definitely hoping to read the rest of the series. Quite a lot was left unanswered,particularly the whereabouts of Colby's father, so I am looking forward to everything being revealed!

Blue Screen of Death is now available to purchase!

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