3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Most fantasy tales either take place wholly in another world or involve someone from the “real” world venturing into a fantasy environment. RJ Parker tries something a little bit different in Requiem, Changing Times by bringing the fantasy characters out of the fantasy world and into ours.
Clint Holden is your average seventh-grade boy, planning how to ask his crush to go to the Halloween dance with him. As part of a blended family, he struggles with his own identity, the loss of his birth father, and adapting to life with his new siblings and step-father. When an imp attacks Clint and his best friend on the way to school, Clint’s life suddenly becomes much more interesting. A special forces team from a fantasy realm appears to protect Clint and his family, informing Clint that he is the key to finding the Requiem. The leader of the team explains that the Requiem is a magical object that makes the difference in the battle between the “good” side, which wants freedom for all, and the Fury, which wants to rule the world. Life suddenly got much more interesting for Clint, his friends, and his family.
Parker’s creativity shines in the characters that he brings to life on the pages. Each of his characters brings personality to the story. Witty dialogue combined with outrageous actions from all of the characters makes for plenty of opportunities to laugh while reading. Parker also brought the humor of school life into the story with the interactions Clint has during his school days. As the Halloween dance approaches, Clint’s best friend also attempts to help him in his quest to secure a date, with hilarious results. I especially enjoyed the recurring episodes that detail how his best friend’s efforts forced Clint to deal with the school’s most popular girl instead of gaining the attention of the girl Clint really likes. All told, Parker’s creative storytelling produces an enjoyable read from cover to cover.
Unfortunately, Parker’s novel needs the assistance of an editor in several areas. While he tells the story very well, I think it could benefit from a few content cuts. Parker tends to follow the characters almost doggedly, causing the story to occasionally feel slightly tedious. He could have used chapter breaks to cut from one scene to another, but Parker’s chapters usually only separated one moment from the one immediately following. With some trimming of unnecessary elements, I think Parker’s work could become even more dramatic and exciting.
Another area that could use some assistance is technical and grammatical editing. Parker starts out well, but it is clear to me that his work needs the help of a quality editor. As the work progresses, more grammatical errors appeared. While these errors do not significantly impact the reader’s ability to enjoy the story, they are noticeable and should be remedied to help this novel reach its full potential.
While I would love to give Requiem, Changing Times a full score for creativity and humor, the editing truly does leave something to be desired. Therefore, I give Parker’s novel 3 out of 4 stars. Readers that enjoy fantasy novels, especially urban fantasy or children’s fantasy, are likely to enjoy this novel. I highly recommend this one to readers that enjoy a hefty dose of humor with their adventures.
Requiem, Changing Times
View: on Bookshelves