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THE HAMMER

VANCE NEUDORF

YA Fiction

Novel Concept Books, Alberta, Canada

ISBN: 09780978374006

The Cor-Van will free the underworld of its evil lord! But Corvan, a 15-year-old teen, initially seems far from a heroic character. Easily bullied at school, his only dignity lies in following the wisdom of his parents and his long-lost grandfather. They know that there is more than meets the eye with worldly matters and even have an inkling that mystery pervades the rock near their simple home in a small town in Canada. Corvan, whose real name is Kalian, and his best friend, Kate, are about to discover the true answer to evil!

The adventure begins when Corvan finds a small, stone hammer with strange figures on it. When Corvan holds it, a sense of well-being fills his mind and spirit, along with a type of humming electricity which seems to course through his body. After discovering and freeing a vicious, poison-emitting lizard called a "Watcher" with the hammer's help, Corvan is finally able to convince Kate that he's really not wacky and Kate becomes entranced with desire for the hammer, so obsessed that she disappears into the underground, whether by choice or captivity unknown.

So begins an amazing story in which Corvan is guided by the lizard to an entire underground world, one fraught with danger as its priests, soldiers and rulers are so much at odds with each other that war is about to begin. Friends and enemies will die as the plot thickens, and evil looks as if it will succeed. Strange weapons unknown to man can either help or totally destroy those who utilize them for good or evil.

There is a point to this warfare which Corvan enters and from which he may never escape, an obvious and engaging one that deepens as the tension increases. One confusing element lies in that the reader never learns how this underground kingdom began, let alone how its divided nature began. A sequel is in order, not only to correct this problem but also to find out what became of this kingdom in the future!

Nicely done, Vance Neudorf!


Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on January 1, 2009

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