Book Review

Book Review: Creeping Shadow (The Rise of Isaac, #1) by Caroline Peckham-4 Stars

creeping shadow

A man waits in Vale, a world void of humanity.

A mother vanishes, her disappearance concealed by the police.

A girl collapses, black magic invading her blood.

And a boy linked to them all must fight to save his family.

Earth is just one of seven worlds. Gateways divide the realms and those who pass through must earn keys, participating in challenges that will separate the fearful from the brave, the weak from the strong, and the witless from the cunning.

Sixteen year old Oliver Knight knows nothing of the other worlds or his family’s dark past. But when his adopted sister succumbs to a deadly curse the truth is revealed and he is plunged into an unknown land in a desperate bid to save her. However, a sinister enemy is on the rise and the danger they face at every turn throws those around them under suspicion. In order to survive, Oliver must figure out who to trust, who to believe and, ultimately, who to fear…


Creeping Shadow is The Hunger Games meets Divergent meets Harry Potter! There’s magi, challenges, keys to other worlds to obtain, and secrets…

From the first page I was hooked. It was not one of those action packed fantasies that can take a while to get built up, but rather you are captivated from the start! A young Oliver and his mom are driving one night when something in the road catches their eye. They find a girl about Oliver’s age with no memory but her name, May. Flash forward 10 years, Oliver’s mom has adopted May, and the teens come home to find their mother’s room torn apart and she is nowhere to be found. A detective arrives, and not long after, comes another, claiming to be the first one on the scene. Oliver and May take them upstairs to find the first “detective” gone, and their mom’s room in order. It seems like nothing ever happened. Since they are minors, they can’t be alone, and are shortly shipped off to their grandfather’s house, whom they’ve never even met. He lives in a magical looking mansion with a huge tree coming out of the center, and things just don’t seem normal here. One night, Oliver wakes up to the sound of May screaming, with black veins slithering under her skin. Ely, their grandfather, realizes he can’t hide anymore about who he is-a mage, and is a gatekeeper for Aleva, one of 7 worlds beside Earth.

Oliver and May have to compete in a race in order to earn keys to the other worlds where they will receive more answers about all of the secrets that just keep coming to life. Oliver learns what really happened to his father, and we keep catching glimpses through flashbacks of Isaac, who has been in Vale, one of the worlds desolate, occupied by Varks-some scary creatures! The author has also created, aside from seven unique worlds, some freaky and unique creatures-hogtrouts, bats that burst into flames, just to name a few!

The reason for a 4 star rating, while I thouroughly enjoyed the unique storyline, thrill, and fantasy, I felt the world building and descriptions were extremely overwhelming. I also hated the cliffhanger ending!  But the characters were dimensional, enjoyable, and the plot was exhilarating, and I can’t wait to continue the series.

Creeping Shadows releases December 10, 2015. I was provided an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review. Thank you, Ms. Peckham!


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