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Candleman (Candle Man #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  654 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Evil melts like wax at the hands of the Candle Man. Theo Wickland lives a life of isolation – he has only ever known three people: his butler, the maid and his guardian. He has always been told this is for his own good because he is dangerous to other people. Indeed, he wears gloves at all times and has daily, intensely painful treatment in the ‘Mercy Tube’. But one birthd ...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published March 7th 2011 by EgmontUSA (first published September 8th 2009)
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Jul 27, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. The title definitely hooked me, and I was interested to see why the main character, Theo, was being imprisoned by the clearly evil Dr. Saint. Unfortunately, the plot quickly slowed to a series of random events which did not mesh seamlessly (or really at all) into a whole plot. Theo himself is completely unlikeable, spending most of the book scared, unsure of himself, and not understanding what is going on around him, making his a very poor narrative point of vi ...more
Oct 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance (Candle Man Book #1)
Author: Glenn Dakin
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: September 22, 2009
Pages: 300
My Edition: ARC Paperback
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Where I got it: Good Man Media

Summary from Amazon:
Murder, mystery, and adventure aren’t your typical birthday presents . . . But for Theo, anything that breaks up his ordinary routine is the perfect gift. A mysterious “illness” and Theo’s guardians force him into a life indoors, where gloves
This book definitely lived up to my expectations. Theo is a boy who has grown up rarely leaving his room and only knowing 3 people - Dr. Saint, Mr. Nicely (the butler), and a deaf maid named Clarice. He has an illness that forces him to wear gloves and submit to treatments that involve a machine called The Mercy Tube.

One night, two robbers knock out the butler and force Theo to show them around. They discover a secret room with articles and a poster of a man that looks exactly like him - called
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Lauren Ashley for

Theo has never been around more than three people in his life: his guardian, the butler, and the maid. He has been told he has a serious illness, having to be put inside the Mercy Tube every day, always having to wear gloves, and he's never allowed to do anything too exciting for fear of over-stimulation.

The truth is much creepier. Theo soon realizes that his guardian is not the good man he believed him to be, and that Theo himself is quite powerful
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The back jacket blurb says that this is like Percy Jackson and Septimus Heap... I'd say it's more like A Series of Unfortunate Events meets Neverwhere/Un Lun Dun and The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Theo is one of those unfortunate/fortunate orphans - unfortunate in that he's basically a prisoner, kept separate from the world because of a mysterious disease, fortunate because Dr. Saint, Mr. Nicely and Clarice are all there to protect and care for him. On his birthday (I'm guessing 15th, but it's
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though the beginning is quiet exciting - a boy with unique powers, locked away from the outside world, suddenly in need to defend himself not just against some burglars but the people that seem to be his only family - it took me some time to really warm up to the story. This might have been due to the fact that I had trouble keeping track of the many different characters popping up all over the place. Sometimes I wished for a "field guide", as provided for the Spiderwick Chronicles, to get ...more
Feb 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I described the book to my roommate who immediately said "oh, Steam Punk" which seemed like a reasonable name for the genre - and one I'm not crazy about though I seem to read a number of them. There is a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen quality - steam-powered super hero, basically. Young person (generally male) raised isolated from the world, unaware of his gifts/curses and then used by a secret society for...either destroying the bad guys or attempting to destroy the good guys but then the g ...more
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying the current popularity of steampunk, even as it confirms that cyberpunk is truly dead. Likewise, I am enjoying Egmont USA's debut on the scene. Imprints seem to start with an impressive list, and I'm definitely looking forward to what this one will put out in the next year or so based on what I've read. (Check out Egmont USA titles I've read since.)

CANDLE MAN is a nice middle grade/young adult crossover title. It's written for a younger audience, but contains a complexity that will
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an easy read, and one that I really enjoyed. DON'T BE FOOLED: the reading level claims to be for ten years old and up, but the themes are extremely adult, dark and gory.


1) A child grows up in captivity, raised in isolation by a sinister society, to be used for scientific experimentation and emotionally abused on a daily basis.

2) As a teenager, the child learns that his "disease" is actually a death-touch.

3) The child is abducted by another society as a rescue mission. This resc
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cheryl, Deborah, Valerie, Lisa
Recommended to Phoebe by: Dylan
Shelves: juv-fantasy
Theo Saint has been kept away from the public for his entire life. He drinks hot water, eats millet and greens, and is thin and pale and must ALWAYS wear gloves. The night two burglars break into Empire Hall is the night Theo discovers he has a terrible power: one touch of his bare hands makes people melt like wax. He doesn't know it yet, but he is the descendant of one of the most feared people in London's history: The Candle Man. And his guardians are not his friends: he must escape. Set in mo ...more
Stacy Mozer
Jun 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10+
Recommended to Stacy by: BEA ARC
Shelves: middle-grade
Overall I enjoyed this odd but exciting book. I agree with another reader who compares the book to The Mysterious Benedict Society. At the beginning all of the Mr. this and Mr. that were a bit hard to follow and even a child of ten may have trouble keeping track of it all. However, once the book got moving and we met characters who have real names, the whole thing picked up and became hard to put down. My favorite part of the book was the main character, Theo, who was raised in isolation so his ...more
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
Loved it! This book is fantastic, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one!
Reading it the second time, I still found this book really enjoyable. The mysteries of the past haunting everyone, the suspenseful magic being revealed, the ghoulish setting with steam punky elements everywhere... I loved it all!

I found the main character, Theo, to be an enigma, and that kept my attention throughout the book. Due to his secluded upbringing, he is weird and has strange ideas. He doesn't know how to
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This author has a clever, although at times overdone, writing style that uses word play for names and description that would probably be quite enjoyable for younger readers. Theo has been kept confined to a small part of his guardian's house all his life and has been told that he has a rare disease and cannot be around people. When two unlucky crooks try to break into the house, Theo is abducted by the so-called maid and discovers that he is a descendant of the Candle Man and has his same powers ...more
The Library Lady
People have compared this to Lemony Snicket and I won't because I HATE Lemony Snicket and its arch,phony style.

This I did like. It's fast moving but allows for a bit of character development--it has a hero whose growth pulls you right along with him.
And while it's obviously going to have several more sequels,this leaves you feeling satisfied for now. Well done.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, young-adult
Not bad. It was very interesting and different but the pace was so fast that there was very little character development.

Still, not a bad read though a lot of death and dismemberment for youngins.
Mary Z
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was reading it and thinking, "Wow, this is modern, but it has great steampunk feel." Then I look at the back of the book when I finish and the description says almost the exact same thing. Weird.
Jul 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One Sentence Review: Quite fun, but a better high concept book in theory than in execution, I'm afraid.
Kanoa Stabe
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing. It's primarily for ages 9-13, I would say. I think all ages would enjoy this book. the beginning starts off boring, but not as boring as other books I've read, surprisingly. Once I got about 80 pages into the book it got me hooked. I coudnt stop reading it. I would find myself coming home everyday reading it. And today I have finally finished it. Anyone who enjoys mystery and suspense will love this, but I feel other people will as well. I overall recommend this book, as yo ...more
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book ever! Found it at Goodwill of all places, and if it was a food, it would have hit the spot!
Kater Cheek
I got this as an advance review copy, and was told it was for those who liked Septimus Heap and Percy Jackson. Alas, my 10-year-old daughter and I didn't think it was as good as either of those.

I wanted to like it. There's a lot of fascinating elements here, from the mysterious secret societies, to the extremely Steampunk London of indeterminate century, to the moral ambiguity of the title character. It just didn't cohere into a novel I felt passionate about.

We start with a boy named Theo, who h
Oct 03, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Theo has spent all of his life inside and away from people. His guardian Dr. Saint has always told him that he has a deadly disease that makes it so he cannot be involved in modern society. So it’s a treat for Theo when as a birthday outing Dr. Saint allows him to take a stroll in the cemetery near the house. Imagine his surprise when he happens to find a gift with his name on it randomly sitting on one of the headstones.

Aside from the strange gift, suddenly Theo is thrown into a world of hidd
Okay, first, you should know this book is written by one of the writers for the BBC show, Shaun the Sheep. That should make you better appreciate some of its personality (or at least find it interesting).

If you've seen that series, you should know there isn't any dialogue. Before I knew who this author was I found myself thinking that it was one of the most dialogue driven children's books I'd ever read. It is also inexplicably perky. Heh.

That said, and yes, including all of that textual persona
 Tina (Fantastic Book Review)
Theo spends his time in his room at Empire Hall locked away from the outside world due to his mysterious illness. His treatments in the Mercy Tube are painful and he takes solace in the time that he spends alone to reflect on these things. But on his birthday, Theo receives a mysterious package which leads to a series of unfortunate events that involves a robbery that leads to dire consequences which finally explains why he has to always wear his black glove. Everything Theo thought he knew abou ...more
"Evil mets like wax at his touch" is the mantra, but the prevailing question , "But why?" becomes the focus of this story. Theo, a slight young boy, is living a bland life. Left in doors with no stimulation such as tea or a good book he is safe from his disease-- or so he is told. Until the day he discovers that his disease is really a powerful tool to thwart enemies, Theo excepts his life and bares it well. When he discovers all he's ben told is a lie, he runs away and meets up with a curious b ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theo has been raised in isolation. His illness has required him to wear gloves constantly and undergo daily medical treatment, and only three people are ever around. But one day, he finds a mysterious gift that draws him to a world outside the only home he's ever known. It is there he comes face to face with not only the mysteries of his own life, but with a secret war fought with powers ordinary people can't imagine. But can Theo survive, let alone be any kind of hero?

Imagine superheros (and vi
Jun 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gr. 5 and up
Theo only knows three rooms in his house and the three people who've raised him: Mr. Saint; Mr. Nicely, the butler; and Clarice, the maid, who's deaf. One time a year, on his birthday, he is allowed to leave the house with Mr. Nicely and go to a cemetery. He must always, always, wear gloves and daily he's placed in a tube to "cure" him of whatever it is that's wrong with him. What he knows of life he knows from the few books he's read and the teachings of Mr. Saint and Mr. Nicely.

One night, aft
Jessica B

The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance was full of mysteries, interesting characters, and impressive writing and narration. The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance is definitely one for younger readers to pick up.

The plot was unique, and constantly had questions asked and answered. Unfortunately, I felt like it was too slow at times, and that there was also a little more running and less action then I would've liked. It was also quite confusing in places. This book is
Feb 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theo lives an extremely secluded life. His guardian, the butler and the maid are the only three people Theo has ever known. He is kept within three rooms in the mansion. His only outside excursions are to the neighboring cemetery on his birthday. His guardian says he has a very rare and mysterious disease so keeping him isolated from the outside world is necessary for his own safety. As Theo grows older he begins to question this because he feels fine except for when he has his treatments in the ...more
Richie Lyman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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