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OUTCAST by Christopher Golden


by Christopher Golden & Thomas E. Sniegoski

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-86661-5
Publisher: Aladdin

Proof positive that a well-imagined setting and a promising premise can’t survive amateurish writing. Being the only human in his entire world who cannot work magic, young Timothy Cade might seem to have a devastating handicap—except that he’s not only a combination of Leonardo, Thomas Edison, and Bruce Lee, but also utterly immune to any magic attack or spell. He is, therefore, well equipped to take on evil archmage Nicodemus, who’s out to take over the Parliament of Mages for his supposedly dead master. To follow Timothy’s adventures, however, readers will have to plow through ten pages of prefatory non-action before even meeting him, and thereafter be continually assaulted by awkward language (“A ripple of mutterings went around the room”), wooden dialogue (“It would not at all surprise me to see the youth used for ill gain”), and slo-mo battles in which participants find time to deliver threats or instructions. Wordy, contrived, amateurish work—and, naturally, first in a projected series. Skip it. (Fiction. 10-12)