- Book Title: Running Through a Dark Place
- Book Series: Children of the Knight #2
- Author: Michael J. Bowler
- Publisher: Michael J. Bowler; 1 edition (May 11, 2014)
- Book Length: 389 pages
- Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
- Reviewed by: Petra
- Rating: 4 Star
- Posting Date: November 2, 2015
For those of you who haven’t read either book 1 or book 2 in the Children Of The Knight Series, I have to start this review with this: SPOILER ALERT!!!
In book 1, Children Of The Knight, Sir Lance saves King Arthur from a sniper shot and Mr Bowler ends the story with Sir Lance mortally wounded, life slipping away from him as the city, the state, and even the world looks on.
One character ‘missing’ in that story was Merlin, King Arthur’s mentor, friend and wizard. But, at the start of Running Through A Dark Place, we learn that he is, in fact, very much there. As a paramedic. And, with his gift, he has been able to keep Lance in limbo; his soul is trapped in his body, even as his life force has left him. There is not much time, but there is still a chance to save him.
Without Lance, the crusade will not end successfully and Jack offers his own life force to save the boy.
Once again, Mr Bowler has packed his story full of action. But, he doesn’t shy away from difficult issues such as love, sexuality, abuse, death…
Most, if not all, of the characters I fell in love with in the first story are back and I was able to get to know them a little better. But, there are also various new players on the field. Not all of them are welcomed equally by all though and that causes some very interesting and sometimes scary altercations.
However, it is not all great news. Yes, the characters are still wonderfully detailed and feel real. Yes, the setting is still well worked out and comprehensive. But, and for me it is a big but, editorially it feels rushed. It is not as polished as the first story and that is a shame.
Do I really care? Yes, and no. Yes, because the story deserves the highest possible shine. On the other hand, no: the story itself sucks you into a world so absorbing; I can overlook most of the ‘mistakes’.
Besides, once more, Mr Bowler has packed the story with so many emotions. I had a fair chuckle at times and the occasional “Aww” could be heard, but… this is not the cheeriest of stories and I recommend reading it with some tissues to hand. Especially so when you read about Sir John; that young man is truly special.
As with the first story, Mr Bowler places the emphasis on children’s rights: either treat children as adults in all aspects of live that directly impacts children (such as education and work, politics and so on), or treat them as children even when a crime is committed. In other words: treat children fairly. And—no matter what, no matter how badly a child ‘screws up’ in the eyes of adults—every child deserves a second, third, fourth… well, you get my drift… chance.
I’m not about to give too much away, but the end of Running Through A Dark Place sets up the story nicely for #3: There Is No Fear. It’s next on my list to read, so look out for that review!
In the meantime, I rate Running Through A Dark Place, by Michael J Bowler, 4 out of 5 stars.
King Arthur and his extraordinary young Knights used ‘might’ for ‘right’ to create a new Camelot in the City of Angels. They rallied the populace around their cause, while simultaneously putting the detached politicians in check. But now they must move forward to even greater heights, despite what appears to be an insurmountable tragedy.
Their new goal is lofty: give equality to kids fourteen and older who are presently considered adults only when they break the law. Arthur’s crusade seeks to give them real rights such as voting, driving, trading high school for work, and sitting as jurors for their peers charged with criminal behavior.
Understanding that the adults of California will likely be against them, Arthur and his Knights must determine how best to win them over.
However, before the king can even contemplate these matters, he finds himself face to face with an ally from the past, one who proves that everything isn’t always what it seems – even life and death.
The Knight Cycle Continues…
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