A fairytale-like story (but more graphic than usual) to wrap up the week! This one takes us to Ireland and Scotland so a bit of a mix-up from my recent reads. Read on for my review of this cute, and yet also violent, story!
The Old Man and the Princess by Sean-Paul Thomas
Genre: Black Humorous / Mystery / Thriller
Is the old man who he says he is? And is he telling Sersha the truth about where she is really from?
A mysterious old man kidnaps Sersha, a young, headstrong, Irish girl, from the streets of Galway and tries to convince her that her life’s destiny is tied to a seemingly random cave in the Scottish highlands.
But with half of the Irish criminal underworld violently on their trail, Sersha, struggles back and forth with the old man’s real identity and far fetched intentions to whether he truly is genuine in his wild and fantastical beliefs. Or is he just some kind of mad, demented, old fool, having a mental breakdown in his twilight years.
A dramatic and thrilling, witty, action packed mystery, that will keep you guessing, right up until the breathtaking, finale.
This one was a lot of fun to read, especially if you like Irish accents! Our two main characters share quite a lot of dialogue so you can very quickly get immersed in this setting. More than that, the narrative style of this story really reminded me of a folk tale. It diverges quite a bit from what we typically recognize as a folk tale, what with the inclusion of the mafia, aliens, and a fair amount of swearing, but the set-up of this old man and young girl setting off on an adventure was a really fun tale to tag along for.
Humour is a large part of this story, mostly with the bickering of the two main characters. Sersha’s got quite a mouth on her, that’s for sure, but I liked that she didn’t make the old man’s job easy. Even as the one who was kidnapped, she’s somehow able to retain control of the situation, and you’ll likely find it difficult to determine who exactly is in charge!
While there’s a lot to laugh at in this story, I think the author did a great job of managing a more serious tone at the same time. As crazy as the adventure reads, there are heavier topics under the surface that lead this story. These aren’t pushed to the forefront but I liked the more “backstage” role they took, that we could step back from the wild ride the old man is taking us on and really understand what this story is about. Of course, I won’t give any more away because this story does rely on its mystery but I’m sure you’ll get caught up in the adventure too.
The thing that is dragging my rating down is Sersha’s characterization. I don’t know any Irish teens so I can’t really know what they’re like but some of her vocabulary seemed at odds for someone who’s only fifteen. My main issue, though, was with how often she was sexualized. I really thought that having these two, young and old, out on an adventure together had a lot of promise and I wish more time had been spent focused on their developing relationship than how Sersha’s curves fit into it. A lot of times it felt she was sexualized in the narrative specifically so Derek would be seen as one who wasn’t sexualizing her, to portray him as a “good guy” kidnapper, I presume. I think this would’ve been much more effective if those comments had been left out entirely and Sersha would’ve been free to simply be a young girl without this scrutiny.
(The author has said that this has been edited from the final version – glad to hear the author takes his reviewer’s critiques into consideration)
About the Author: Sean is an author from Edinburgh in Scotland. He spent most of his childhood and teenage years growing up on the move with his Scottish and Irish parents (No, they weren’t bank robbers 😉 ) in the likes of Cyprus, Germany, Wales, and England, as an army brat.
With a keen interest in both reading and writing he was diagnosed with the travel and writing bugs very early on in life. Now, writing, traveling, reading, cinema, and Scottish football are his main passions in life, along with cooking, yoga, meditation, and health and fitness.
His main inspiration for writing comes from living in such a beautiful, charming and hauntingly, Gothic city, such as Edinburgh. This awe-inspiring wee city has given Sean so much amazing inspiration to write the more time he spends there.
At this moment Sean is working on a couple of screenplays adaptations of his books and a new, dark, apocalyptic thriller novel that should be out in the late summer of 2017.
So far he has two published works of fiction – The Universe Doesn’t Do Second Chances and Cafe Independence, and 8 self-published novels: Alone, Ugly/beautiful, Sarah Smiles, Lust for Life – Book 1 and 2, The Fairy Boy of Calton Hill – Books 1, 2, and 3, and The Old Man and the Princess
Author links: Facebook
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own