Word Spelunking

Jabberwocky - Daniel  Coleman Read the complete and original review at Word SpelunkingLewis Carroll’s Wonderland is an iconic world, so to write a story inspired by Carroll’s words and set in his iconic world, must be quite a daunting undertaking. But with Jabberwocky, Daniel Coleman as done just that, and he has done it brilliantly.“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!Beware the Jubjub bird, and shunThe frumious Bandersnatch!”-Lewis CarrollBased on the poem appearing in Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, Coleman’s Jabberwocky tells the story of one young boy’s journey from farm boy to Elite soldier. Fifteen year old Tjaden and his best friend Ollie have dreams of being among the King’s Elite soldiers, and they get the chance after Tjaden proves himself a worthy candidate to attend the Academy after rescuing a young girl, Elora (whom he has a crush on), from a fearsome Bandersnatch. But soon, Tjaden finds himself having to go up against an even deadlier foe, the Jabberwocky, a foul beast that kidnaps young maidens…and Elora ends up being the beast’s latest victim. So Tjaden sets out to rescue Elora with nothing more than his bravery, love for her, and his vorpal sword.I absolutely love what Coleman has created with Jabberwocky. Coleman has not simply recreated Carroll’s Wonderland, he’s expanded it and wonderfully so. Like Carroll’s works set in Wonderland, Coleman’s Jabberwocky is whimsical and fantastical, yet also sophisticated and eloquent. Coleman certainly has a captivating way with words.Jabberwocky is a shorter read at only 145 pages, but it is very much a satisfying read. Perfectly paced, Jabberwocky is gripping and will hold the attention of even young readers from beginning to end. I love how each separate part of the book begins with a stanza from the infamous poem, alluding to what’s to come in that specific part. I was very impressed with Coleman’s creativity and ability to take a poem of merely 28 lines and create an entire story around it.The world Coleman has created and described is vivid and well developed. This is a world that readers will have no problem simply falling into. The fantasy aspects are light, but very exciting and fun. Coleman’s characters are compelling and charming. Tjaden makes for a believable and likeable hero, Ollie is absolutely endearing as the funny sidekick, and Elora is one kick-butt and graceful heroine. And of course, you have the Jabberwocky himself, who will surprise and thrill you. Coleman’s characterization of the Jabberwocky and the backstory he has given this beast is beautifully rendered.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Readers young and old, those familiar with Carroll’s Wonderland and those who have yet to discover it, will be enthralled by Coleman’s words and will find delight in Tjaden’s journey. Daniel Coleman has made splendid sense of Carroll’s spectacular nonsense, and I loved every moment of it. Jabberwocky is a MUST read!

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