Judy Croome lives, writes and reads in Johannesburg, South Africa. A novelist & poet, Judy loves cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, rainy days and cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.) Visit Judy on www.judycroome.com or join her on Twitter @judy_croome
After a traumatic month I've been struggling to concentrate on reading so thought I'd try something different (for me) I was drawn to this book by the cover - sort of scary and relaxed at the same time. OLD BEGINNINGS is the first book in a middle grade series that tells the story of a young boy called Flynn Heath who, after a scary experience involving lightening and a strange old man with a beautiful dagger, finds himself enrolled in a new school ... for demon slayers!
The author has captured the essence of teens - smart, savvy and a mix of strength and vulnerability. I was easily drawn back to that feeling of being excited about a whole new world opening up, and yet kind of nervous about it too! Dialogue is snappy and sharp, and adds to the feeling of excitement.
A fast paced read, OLD BEGINNINGS is the first book in a series, which is the only issue I had - I prefer books that complete a story in one book. However, this book can be read as a stand alone and the interplay between Flynn and his "normal life" friends, Rose & Toby, and the friendship bonds he forms with the new "slayer" friends, Jack & Ice, at the Victor Grey Academy were very well drawn.
There's touches of lovely humour (I just loved Mr Rook & Mr Bishop!) and all in all it was an entertaining read, with some thought-provoking points raised (trying to force Jason to become a slayer when he didn't think demons were all bad - this makes one think about our own prejudices) I'm looking forward to Book 2 so I can see where the school house rivalry develops, how the slayers each grow and what Flynn's slayer ancestry is.