Sunday, October 15, 2017

31 Days of Halloween - Day 15

Sam Specter and the Book of Spells by Ricardo Delgado

Treasures Publishing. 2009.

Sam Specter is a ten-year-old ghost who fancies himself a private eye. He lives in Netherworld City, a vast metropolis inhabited by all manner of supernatural being. Like most kids his age, Sam has the usual problems; homework, bullies, adults who don't believe some of his accomplishments in the world of private investigation. Currently he's working two cases; finding the lost guitar belonging to a member of Netherworld's most popular band, and recovering the Book of Spells, a powerful grimoire, stolen by a gang of monsters performing the bidding of a much greater evil.

Delgado, an accomplished comic book and concept artist crafts three-quarters of a really enjoyable book. Most of the problems are first time writer problems that could have been solved by some good editing. Important scenes take place between chapters, supporting characters could have stood more development and purpose in the story as a whole, and there are a lot of descriptive passages pertaining to the architecture and furnishings of Netherworld City that aren't going to connect with the age group this book is aimed at. Once the story gets rolling it is fast paced, action packed, suspenseful, and very entertaining. Given Delgado's background, I think it would have been more successful as a graphic novel, or as a more fully illustrated book. As is is, beyond the cover, there are only tiny thumbnail sketches at the top of each chapter and these do not convey the true ability of the author, or really provide the reader with helpful visuals to latch their imagination on to.

I'd like to see more adventures of Sam Specter, but hope that Delgado gets some editorial guidance to bring his stories to their fullest potential rather than the almost there story that this first outing is.

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