Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words
Availability Kindle: YES Nook: YES Paper: YES
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Spencer Baum lives with his family in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has an additional book available, One Fall. For more information, visit his web site.
Turquoise, a mythical town in New Mexico, is a bit like a few other towns in the Southwestern US, reputed by a group of “hippies” to have something special about the area. In this instance, it is “The Turquoise Hum,” a strange sound coming from a nearby mountain that can only be heard by a small number of the population, known as the Hearers. Fourteen-year-old Kevin Brown’s father is among this group. Kevin has never believed in the hum until a chance event causes him not only to hear, but also to gain other powers, setting him off on an adventure beyond his wildest dreams.
The fantasy genre has been severely neglected in my reading materials over the years, although I have read some. One way The Demon Queen and the Locksmith differs from what I’ve previously read is the “story world” is at least nominally the world in which all of us live. Whether genre purists would still consider this fantasy or not, I have no idea. At least for me, that doesn’t matter, the story does, and in this case it is a good one.
The first day of high school is trying for everyone. For Kevin it starts out worse than most. His reaction, fleeing school for the day, sets off a chain of events leading to a magical adventure. It allows him a temporary escape from his less-than-perfect life and in the end to change it for the better.
Throughout the book, it felt more like a fairy tale than a typical fantasy. I often found myself thinking the story was allegorical although, if so, I was never able to pinpoint why I felt that or deduce the symbolism. In the end it doesn’t matter whether this was my overactive imagination or not, because the story works so well. If escapism is one of the reasons for reading fiction then The Demon Queen and the Locksmith should allow a teen (or an adult for that matter) an escape from the problems of their real world life as they follow Kevin on his adventure.
No significant issues.
Rating: ***** 5 stars