It’s time, once again, for another fabulous blog tour hosted by The Write Reads! This go around, I’m bringing you a review for a young adult fantasy novel that sweep me off my feet: The Legend of Black Jack by A.R. Witham. This story absolutely captivated my imagination and I can’t wait to tell you more about it!
Before I do, though, I’ve got folks to thank! First, I want to thank Dave @ The Write Reads and all of the crew for giving me a spot on this tour! Next, I want to thank the author for providing me with a free e-book so that I could share my thoughts! It is, as always, much appreciated.
Now, let’s jump into my tour stop!
Prepare to be whisked away to another realm in this epic fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman’s characters in Stardust or Patrick Rothfuss’s prose in The Name of the Wind.
Jack Swift remembers everything—even the horrible things he’d like to forget. To keep his guilt-ridden memories from haunting him, and to dodge his abusive foster mom, he buries himself in any book he can find, dreaming of his ultimate escape: becoming a doctor.
But fate has another escape in mind.
At 3:33 am on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a monstrous rhinoceros and whisked away to another sphere of existence: the land of Keymark. Though this world is filled with pixies, monsters, pirates, elves, warriors, and mythical wonders, it is without healing magic—that magic was stolen by an evil, immortal prince hell-bent on domination. With no understanding of medical science to heal their wounds or illnesses, Jack’s kidnappers ask the impossible of him: use his knowledge to save a life…or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue.
Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any medical experience.
Why do they all expect him to become a legend?
A. R. Witham is a three-time Emmy-winning writer-producer and a great lover of adventure. He is the world’s foremost expert on the history of Keymark. He loves to talk with young people and adults who remember what young people know. He has written for film and television, canoed to the Arctic Circle, hiked the Appalachian Trail and been inside his house while it burned down. He lives in Indianapolis.
Thank you to The Write Reads and the author for providing me with a free e-book in exchange for an honest review! All opinions contained within are my own.
You know that feeling when you pick up a book, read the first few chapters, and just know you’re going to love it? When you can feel yourself getting lost in a world and you want to stay that way? Yeah, that’s exactly what happened to me when I started reading The Legend of Black Jack!
This immersive fantasy follows a young man named Jack Swift. Jack is a boy with a powerful memory who can recall pretty much everything he sees, reads, and hears. But Jack is also a boy dealing with the grief of losing his father when he was seven years old. Then, on his fourteenth birthday, a mysterious stranger crashes into his life and Jack suddenly has a lot more to worry about than alcoholic foster moms. He’s thrust into an adventure that will make use of his incredible memory and his big heart.
What can I say other than I loved this? What an absolutely wild ride of a book! I had no idea that the author had written for TV and film before but it definitely shows when you’re reading this story. It’s crafted in a way that feels like a movie unfolding in your head. It’s fast-paced, gripping, and has incredible worldbuilding. You can tell A.R. Witham spent a lot of time crafting the world of Keymark because it is so easy to settle into it. This is a vivid and vibrant fantasy that had me fascinated all the way through!
Now, let’s talk about the characters. I loved the characters we got to meet in this story! Jack is such an interesting POV to follow because he’s exceptionally bright, but also only fourteen. He makes decisions that only a fourteen year old could make and, at the same time, seems wise beyond his years. I will say there were several moments I had to remind myself of his age because he just sounded older. Still, I loved getting to witness Keymark through his eyes. Also, I loved that most of the secondary characters were equally well-written! Even the main villain had an unusual backstory that I found intriguing, though I wish we could have explored it more.
I think my one teensy, tiny gripe with the story was that the climax felt way too sudden. Like everything wrapped up far too easily. Take that with a grain of salt, of course, because there was nothing easy about what Jack and his friends had to do! It just felt like there was so much tension and build up and it ended in, like… a paragraph. Other than that, though, I had an incredible time with this story and would love to be able to explore more of Keymark! I’m hoping Jack and his friends have more adventures in their future.