I first met Sam Blood when he was around 11 years old. At the time I was organising a weekend workshop with internationally famous children’s author John Marsden in Auckland. The workshop was for adults but we received an enquiry from Sam’s mother, asking if Sam could join the workshop. It was apparent that Sam was passionate about writing. He had started writing his novel at nine years and had been honing it ever since. We let him join the adult workshop. John Marsden took a shine to Sam and they communicated for a while afterwards.
Sam rewrote his novel every year for fourteen years. Along the way he sought advice from John Marsden, Brian Falkner, and other well known writers. Friends and family gave him feedback and typed his manuscript and he never gave up on his dream to have his novel published one day. In 2014 he met a successful self-published author at Armageddon who gave him another option. Why not publish it himself instead of sending it to a traditional publisher. It all made sense to Sam and he published 'Shadows' in June 2015.
Shadows is book one in the Shadows Series. The prologue starts with Griffin a six-year-old boy being kissed goodnight by his Scientist mother before she goes downstairs to the laboratory to begin work. We’re also introduced to Cirrus his shadow friend. We soon find out that Cirrus is not a childhood imaginary friend but a real shadow that saves his life. Chapter One takes us forward ten years when the main character is in his last two years of school. His brother is now running his late Mother’s company Cameron Technologies. Griffin has been in and out of counselling for telling the truth – a truth that no one wants to believe. He’s lonely, misunderstood, and mixed-up. Did he really see two shadows fight over him when he was younger? Did his shadow friend save him? Who was the other shadow and why did he kill his mother and try to kill him? Find out what happens when Griffin crosses over to a parallel world and discovers that everything he has been told has been a lie.
It’s a riveting read … one that 12-18 year olds will enjoy. The characters are fully realised, the action exciting and the language tight. There's twists and turns in the plot that will have you on the edge of your seat, and Sam hasn't been afraid to take risks with his characters. This coming of age story is a must read.
"I read his manuscript and was very impressed at his writing ability at such a young age. I thought then, and still think now, that if he continues to develop, he has a very rewarding career in front of him as an author. I look forward to seeing him up on stage at the Book Awards one day in the future!”Brian Falkner (author of 'Brain Jack', 'Tomorrow Code' and many other international best sellers)
Available from all good book stores or buy direct www.SamBlood.com or Amazon.
Reviewed by Maria Gill