#Bookreview of BLOTT by Daniel Parsons
When a devastating famine forces Blott to disobey his parents and leave his remote village in search of food, he learns three things that change his life forever.
1. The world outside his village is made up of a giant canvas that stretches all the way to the horizon.
2. A freakish ability that he has kept secret for years means that he can paint life into the fabric, and shape new land around him to save his people from extinction.
3. A sinister voice inside his head has other ideas, threatening to consume him and unleash an untold evil onto the community.
Will Blott create a perfect world, or will he let his inner demon paint with darker colours?
The fate of his people rests in the balance.
Book one of the Canvas Chronicles.
I’ve been intrigued by this story since I downloaded it back in June 2015. I thought it had a very different premise for a story line; that of a boy, Blott, who can paint the world around him from ink that leaks out of his hands. The people he grew up with referred to themselves as Canvas People, and outside of their immediate village, everything around them was called the White Plains. Basically, a blank canvas of unending white.
Blott has a terrible secret, one his parents made him hide all his life. But, the older he gets, the harder it becomes for him to contain his embarrassing secret, especially when faced with anger or danger. He’s also plagued by nightmares, which become more terrifying in nature, as he feels a dark presence trying to exert it’s force on him. On top of that, his village is dying, due to an extended drought and now they’re all facing starvation. As Blott tries to find a way to save his people, he accidentally unleashes the darkness inside him. Can he learn to control it, and undo all the harm he’s caused?
The book drew me in from the beginning, as Blott is being chased by the bullies of the village, Artemis and his gang, when he finds himself face-to-face with Clucky. Clucky is a sort of rooster-bull mixture, something I wouldn’t want to meet in person.
The world that Daniel Parsons has drawn is full of vivid detail and I could picture myself going through all the adventures with Blott, and the villagers, as they defended themselves against some really nasty creatures that the darker side of Blott created. This is a slated as a Children’s Book, but there is a lot of death and darkness and I wouldn’t recommend it for younger children.
There are twists and turns that took me by surprise, which I really enjoined. I also thought all the characters were well-developed. At this time, there isn’t a sequel out, so we’re left with a cliff-hanger, but I’ve been told it’s on the author’s to-be-done list. I hope so. I really want to see what happens to the Canvas People and the White Plains.
What I didn’t like: there were some instances of wrong word usage, but the biggest one were the out-of-context similes/metaphors. We’re dealing with a pretty primitive society that uses candles for lights, yet their world, or actions, are being compared to modern technology like orbiting satellites, or oceans that they’ve never seen. These references threw me out of the story on several occasions during my reading.
This is a good story that I recommend for older kids and adults alike. I give it 4 feathers.