The Other Book, by Philip Womack

Edward Pollock lives an ordinary life at his ordinary boarding school, where the food is bad and the teachers are way too serious. But one day he’s inexplicably drawn to a strange and powerful book, and suddenly the boarding school isn’t quite so ordinary anymore. Capable of boosting men to heroism or destroying them in malice and evil, The Other Book has laid dormant for 400 years, waiting for someone to restore it to its original glory.  While Edward must do his best to keep The Other book safe, a mysterious new teacher at the school becomes intent of getting a hold of the Book for her own sinister purposes.

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Sorry for not writing my own description this time (I usually do), I was at a loss for how to sum this one up. I hate to say it, but I am actually rating a book I didn’t finish. Yet I felt I needed to say something about it. I checked it out from the library because I liked the title, and the cover was updated. In the words of Agatha Swanburne: “All books are judged by their covers until they are read.”

Right from the very first chapter it will have you groaning and completely grossed out. And for no reason! I was disgusted by the beginning, which never made any sense. I won’t say exactly why, if you choose to read it you’ll find out.

The premise of the book is alright. The idea of a book that holds power in itself is okay. If it had been executed well. I was just confused as to exactly why certain things were, how they came to be, and where in the world I was. The first chapter should have been labeled a prologue, it confused me as to where I was.

It was really, really dark. Outside of the grotesque beginning, it was really creepy. The evil teacher mentioned in the description could almost be described as a witch, and the book brought about all these confusing dreams to the main character. There was also this weird comminucating with people from the past, or with people who were supposed to exist but never did. It didn’t make any sense.

I couldn’t understand what the author wanted to get across. Usually, authors start with either good character ideas or good plot ideas. I suppose this one started with a plot idea, but he was never able to marry the two. The characters were boring, the plot felt underdeveloped, and there wasn’t anything that stood out. I don’t want to say there were no plot twists, but I just didn’t care. I read the first maybe six chapters, then flipped through to see if it got better.

Overall Rating: 2/5

Violence: 5/10 (disgusting gore, and darker magical forces which are hideously evil.)

Language: 2/10?

Inappropriateness/Romance: 1/10

Audience: Ages 12-14? If there is any audience at all in a poorly paced book.

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