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Shadowmancer (Shadowmancer #1)

2.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,565 Ratings  ·  274 Reviews
An apocalyptic battle between good and evil is vigorously, violently fought in British author G.P. Taylor's suspenseful, action-packed fantasy. The story, set in the 1700s on the Yorkshire coastline, revolves around Vicar Obadiah Demurral, a corrupt-but-inept, dead-conjuring "shadowmancer" who desires to control the universe by overthrowing God, or Riathamus. When two hard ...more
Paperback, 174 pages
Published May 9th 2005 by Charisma House (first published October 3rd 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 13, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For the longest time, I avoided committing to writing my complete frustration with and bitter disappointment over this book. After all, the author seems like a very nice man (despite his personal views on religion, he has defended Philip Pullman, and had to sell his motorcycle in order to get this book published), and there is a definite audience for this sort of book, made up of people who aren't likely to pay attention to anything I say. At the same time, until very recently I considered this ...more
Jun 08, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidsbooks
Awful on a monumental scale.
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start off by saying: If you are not a Christian, or not interested in reading a book heavily themed in that area, you should probably stay away from Shadowmancer. Most of the negative reviews I've seen based on this book complain that G.P. Taylor bashes one over the head with his views in God and the supernatural...and that's kind of the point. This book is in no way a subtle allegory a la The Chronicles of Narnia. It makes it evident that Riathmus is supposed to be God, that he is the so ...more
Lacey Louwagie
Aug 07, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
I read a review of this book in School Library Journal and the review made it sound like this book was right up my ally. The premise is that a priest is striving to become even more powerful than God, and it's up to three kids to stop him. The review warned that the book had religious themes, but that just jazzed me up even more. I was picturing something along the lines of His Dark Materials or A Wrinkle in Time -- a fantasy story that really makes you think about God.

But it didn't take long to
Anne Hamilton
Some thoughts on Christian fantasy after a conference a few years ago. These musings include occasional references to Shadowmancer.

It’s time I nailed my colours to the mast. I’ve been a bit disturbed recently by the musings of a panel about Christian fiction at a conference I attended in Sydney, and also by an article in my church magazine about fantasy writer G.P. Taylor, much-praised as the ‘successor to C.S. Lewis’. Or so the publicity goes. On the strength of the article, I at last decided t
Jun 14, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Definitely sucked. This book has the honor of being one of the worst books I've ever read. I should have trusted my initial feelings and quit. It's so bad, I won't pass it on and risk inflicting another human being with this trash, rather, that's exactly where it's going....into the trash.
Nov 03, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shadowmancer was a terrible read, and I actually regretted finishing it. It started off promisingly enough, but it devolves into nothing but a religious sermon saying 'there is only one god, and everyone who worships any other deity or concept is really just worshipping the devil'. The major villain, the Vicar of the village, is so stereotypical, I was waiting for him to start twirling his mustache and cackling maniacally.

All in all, a very poorly written, poorly thoughtout, and way to heavy ha
Aug 08, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the heavily religious
Shelves: british-stuff
I read this a long time ago and it still sticks with me. ...But so can gum on your shoe.

It was heavily religious, and it wasn't even subtle about it. God showed up constantly to interfere with things. It's one thing to have God appear and go, "Blah blah blah, now go do my bidding" but here he was as much a character in the story as anybody else.

The writing was okay at best. And in my opinion, it marginalized any female characters that appeared in the book.

At the beginning it seemed okay before r
I thought this book would never end. I really try to stick with books, eternally optimistic that a good story will come out of hiding at some point, right up to the bitter end. And that's about the only place this story came together, in the very ending which is merely a jumping off point for the next volume--thanks, Publishing Industry, for the two-book starter contracts--ARGH!
I had high hopes for this book, what a great title! On the surface it sounds good, but scratch it and you get nothing
Nov 19, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children younger than 13 who haven't yet learned to appreciate good writing in it's fullest.
I might quit this book. Someone reviewed it as 'awful on a monumental scale.' It made me laugh, but it's a bit true.

Just because a book is written for a younger audience, doesn't mean it should be written poorly with no depth.

The author has told me single sentence reasons for why I should care about these characters, but I haven't been given actual motivation. The villian reads like an episode of The Smurfs. Make me actually care; don't just tell me that I should.

Some of the most offensive piece
Apple84 Wylie
Aug 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOBODY!
Why , oh why can't I give this book no stars? I won't even vent about the goings-on of this godawful train wreck in terms of "plot" or "characterization". This is just plain bad, folks. Bad writing. Bad characterization. Bad logic. Bad dialogue. It may actually be the worst book I've ever tried to read. It may actually be the worst book ever. I read somewhere that the author got a 6 million dollar book deal for a series of these things--and there is also a motion picture in the works. So many st ...more
Jan 17, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A guy I used to work with recommended this book to me, saying it was better than Harry Potter. I like the guy, and he kept raving about it, so I tried it out. Biggest waste of time and money EVER. I mean, if you want a really good example of a writer shoving Christianity down your throat in the least imaginative way possible, sure, this is the book for you. But if you want more than a half-baked storyline and one-dimensional characters, stay far far away from this book. Worst. Book. Ever.
Jul 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what all the fuss was about regarding this book. It just goes to show what a falsehood most "reviews" are. Few really cracking books get reviewed at all; but if there's something even slightly "newsworthy" about a book or its writer e.g. a big-breasted author, or in this case, a real-life vicar, the write-up gets copied time and time again and commented on; and it shoots to the top of the best-seller list. The publishing industry has a lot to answer for, in my view.
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abondoned
This book was not really my type. It talks about a sorcerer wanting to control the highest power in the whole entire universe. But he can't control it because there are people in his way. The people that are in his way is Rapahah,
Brit McCarthy
Dec 14, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2012-13
Finally I have made it to the end of these 300 pages of poorly written junk. I picked this book off my boyfriend's bookshelf to read and I wish I'd just left it there. The only thing that got me through was the thought of writing a scathing review at the end, because I can't say I ever expected it to get better. In no way dd I believe this to be 'the biggest event in children's fiction since Harry Potter', no matter what The Times says.

What a load of religious nonsense. Clearly, if you believe w
Jun 03, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unsorted
Apparently I read this book before and just didn't realize it. Must have been before I moved to US, because I'm sure I'd have remembered the distinctive word "Shadowmancer". I remembered most of the scenes in re-reading, so nothing came as surprise, so that definitely took away from my enjoyment of the story this time.

What I learned from this book is that religion and fantasy don't mix. I kept thinking, "This is not the way it works." While, okay, I cannot say I know what God would or wouldn't d
Kim Dyer
Apr 12, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
I normally try to see the good in any story, but in Shadowmancer there is nothing. It remains to be my most hated of novels, and here is why.

The story is flat and exceptionally uninteresting, hardly building in pace throughout the story and leading to an utterly anti-climatic conclusion. Many plot threads are thrown into the story at random, often being abandoned without any kind of adequate explanation to why they were their to begin with. The end result is a story that just seemed muddled and
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book is dark. Many other reviews complained about a strong Christian message. In my opinion, that message was flawed. Taylor shrouded the "Jesus" character and the "salvation" in mysticism. Raphah, a mysterious youth from Cush has "hidden knowledge" and mystical powers. His role on the side of good was not clearly defined. There was definite good and evil, but I thought the line between them was often muddied with the mystical creatures.

I could not really connect with any of the characters
Joey Woolfardis
Written in opposition to His Dark Materials and other "atheist propaganda", Shadowmancer tries in vain to be anywhere near as good. It is terribly written, which doesn't always stop something from being popular, but the story is so droll and boring it makes getting through the 300 pages so utterly contemptible. The characters are 2D, but I will say, in some defence, that they were fairly varied and not the same Mary-Sue wish wash you usually get. The plot was barely even a plot and it seemed to ...more
Tom D
Jan 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Tom by: Stupid ad
Shelves: to-avoid
I remember when I got this book, it was in a bookstore which had a giant ad that said "If you liked Harry Potter, meet the new master" or some nonsense like that.

I had just finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban back then, so I bought it. I started reading and page after page I was thinking "ok kind of a slow story" but I kept reading. Suddenly I realized I read half of the book and NOTHING interesting happened. The plot is generic, the characters are generic, and the writer seems to
Kat Heckenbach
I've tried about three times to read this book--the first couple times I never made it past the first chapter or two, and this time I got about half-way. It's right at the edge between MG and YA, which is the sweet spot I really like. It's dark, it's got magic. And, as a Christian, I was really curious because this is one of the few Christian fantasy books published in the general market. I was expecting something a bit more subtle. I found this heavy-handed and preachy. The writing is okay, the ...more
May 11, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up from a charity shop a few months ago thinking it sounded rather good. At the time I was unaware it was actually a children's book but that isn't usually a problem for me, I have read a great many children's books that were brilliant and enjoyed them. However this book just did not hold my concentration or interest at all. There were some good ideas but the plot and characters were over all very weak and although many children's fantasy books I have read have had an underlying Ch ...more
May 26, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Enggak ada nilai bintang minus ya buat dikasih ke buku ini...???
Jul 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What the hell was this book about? I have never ever before read a bunch of unrelated sentences of such a length.
I love the plot of this book, but it never really grabbed my attention. Maybe I just wasn't the right audience--it had all the right ingredients, but for whatever reason, I never felt very involved.
Russ Hall
I tried to ignore the scathing reviews for this book but I have done something I rarely do. I have stopped reading it. The initial narrative is good and the characters are well established but the badly disguised christian theology is shameful. There are sections that are lifted wholesale for liturgy. Protect your children and never buy this book.
May 19, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A few days ago, I saw Shadowmancer in the Young Adult section of my local library and thought it seemed really interesting. After all, I am a huge fan of dark fantasy. When I got about halfway through the book, I explored Goodreads a bit to look over other people’s reviews. To my dismay, they were all negative and had trashed the book. However, since I had already read a significant amount, I decided to finish it. Generally, it’s hard for me to hate something that I’m not forced to read, but I c ...more
Stopped with 3 discs to go. Found I was listening to it, but not really listening (if you know what I mean). Need something less good vs. evil to listen to at the moment.

Have this book on my library shelf so can continue (or not) when I feel the urge to finish it up.
Michael Cluff
Jan 16, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A strange light hangs in the horizon, dampening the day and illuminating the night. Ships and whole towns are swallowed by the raging ocean, claiming hundreds of lives, innocent and not. Strange creatures hunt human prey in the dark. A strange foreigner offers salvation while a priest seeks world domination at any cost, even his soul. The very forces of Heaven and Hell are preparing for battle. The world will never be the same. Will a young boy and simple commoner named Thomas have the courage t ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So, I wanted to read this because of the Whitby connection, I'd heard it was good, and then heard it was supposed to be another Dark Materials. What a disappointment. I started off reading it thinking... this isn't very good... but I carried on with a bit of skim reading. Still not any better. Skim reading increased drastically, and I actually got about two thirds through and then I thought, what am I doing? I am wasting my time. So I quit. This book really isn't anybody's effort.

I appreciate it
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Goodreads Librari...: Series information needed in title field 3 32 Jan 09, 2015 03:31AM  
  • The Cold Moons
  • Lionboy (Lionboy Trilogy #1)
  • The Book of Names (Legends of Karac Tor, #1)
  • Tiger's Blood (Tiger's Apprentice, #2)
  • Basilisk
  • The Sands of Time (The Hermux Tantamoq Adventures, #2)
  • Introducing Semiotics
  • The Dark Foundations (The Lamb Among the Stars, #3)
  • The Moon Riders (Moon Riders, #1)
  • The Bookstore Mouse
  • Rod Serling's Twilight Zone
  • My Life as an Afterthought Astronaut (The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle, #8)
  • Book of Signs (Diadem, Worlds of Magic, #2)
  • Sarah's Story
  • Master Mind / Fighting Man (Barsoom, #6-7)
  • Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn (Mythago Wood, #6)
  • Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea (The Witch of Two Suns, #1)
  • Steampunk Prime: A Vintage Steampunk Reader
(born 1958 in Scarborough, North Yorkshire), pen-name G. P. Taylor, is the author of the best-selling novels Shadowmancer, Wormwood and Tersias. Before taking up writing full-time, he was an Anglican vicar in the village of Cloughton, North Yorkshire.
His works reflect his faith, carrying Christian messages like The Chronicles of Narnia of C.S. Lewis. He began to write his works to counter the inc
More about G.P. Taylor...

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