The Jinx is the story of Stephen Grayson, a 13-year old whose run of bad luck gets so bad he worries he is endangering his family. Fearing he is cursed, he flees home to protect his family, only to find that he is in the middle of a tug-of war between a cult obsessed with order and misshapen monsters known as “Chaons” who seem bent on hunting him down.
The Jinx is a fantasy adventure intended for preteens and early teens and while this age group is notorious for NOT being avid readers I think this book has what it takes to engage and hold their attention.
The main hero, Stephen, is a boy all young readers can relate to - just an average kid who knows there’s something wrong with him. Bad things just keep happening with and around him since his first day at school when he crashed and broke his brother’s bike. He just seems to bring destruction into everything he does, so the time comes when he’s fed up and decides to investigate what it’s all about.
From this moment on the plot picks up speed and becomes a fast paced adventure. Stephen finds out he has Chaos powers which among other things means he can control Chaons, creatures made of Chaos, part flesh and part stone. He becomes embroiled in the conflict between a cult intent on using his Chaon controlling abilities and a mysterious man called Daedalus, former disciple and traitor to their cause. Stephen doesn’t know who to trust and must make difficult choices on his own.
My reservations stem mostly from the feeling that the book wasn’t always sure which audience it’s supposed to address. For example, my favorite parts of the book were Chaos mythology and all the speculations around it, but I’m not sure the philosophical explanations and all those ancient Greeks won’t sail over the kids’ head. And it’s rather too fast paced for preteens too. On the other hand, the hero is too young and the conflict and moral dilemmas too simple for more crossover audience.
However, considering this is the author’s first published fiction book it’s definitely a success. Then again, after 20 years of writing professionally he can hardly be called a novice, and it shows. The plot is well thought out, the story flows and the new spin on mythology is worth of note. 3.5 stars
Readers can read the first chapter free - and get links to purchase ebooks (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad) as well as softcover versions at: http://thejinxbook.tumblr.com/
See the original review on goodreads