|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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Tarbabies Book 1: The Shadow Man of Ichabod Lane Kindle Edition
|Length: 346 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Something is happening. Manhattan is under quarantine and people are starting to turn into these glob like things that are sticky like tar. Some call them Gummies. Some refer to them as Shadow Men. Others have started calling them Tarbabies. Regardless of what they are, there is slowly becoming more of them than people. Or are they still people? It’s spreading and no one knows how to stop it. All they do know is that it starts with just a single touch…..
Good lord this book gave me anxiety! This story about walking goo globs that take our characters away with just a quick touch had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Every time I felt like our characters were finally safe, something happened to put them in danger again. Naturally I would have to read until they were safe again….only to find they would get into trouble all over. You may think that’s a complaint. Trust me, it isn’t. I really enjoyed this rollercoaster of a tale but I am thankful that there was some comedic relief to keep me from totally losing it.
The story was well written and engaging. These goo globs, or tarbabies, are frightening without being scary. They have no discernible features, nothing in their description that makes them anything more than just a black blob, yet the idea that just a touch, whether it be intentional or unintentional, could change people into something else…..well, that’s enough to make me shudder. As for our non-goo globs, they were great. I really enjoyed Josh and his wife as well as the host of other characters. Adding a furry traveling companion to go along with our main protagonists really escalated my heart rate though. Many times I found myself asking out loud, “But where’s the dog?!?!?” Then he would show up and I could enjoy the story once again without panic. I’m still not sure how this whole event started or what exactly these “tarbabies” are, but given that this is only book one, I don’t believe you’re supposed to. Not yet. All I am sure about is that I want to keep reading to find out.
Its two biggest weaknesses were a relentless sardonic banter, and a intermittent neglect of Sanderson's Laws of Magic, made all the more infuriating because so much of the book was so clever.
Brady's imagination is impressive, his every(wo)men are all believably "next door," and his sense of dramatic tension is enviable.
I will definitely be checking out the other two books in this series.
Josh and his wife have loving, fun interactions. Brady did very well crafting these two, and I spent almost every page of the story hoping that both of them make it through. The author also excelled at creating each of the characters on Ichabod Lane, especially the young boy Logan, who treats the dangerous, slow-moving monsters as a fun activity.
The novel also has a nice balance of settings. There are scenes taking place in big cities, small communities, woodlands, and more. The characters travel well and the descriptions of their travels are very entertaining. Particularly, it was fun to read about Josh and his wife and their hiking adventure through the Catskills.
This novel is written very well. If I have any complaints, I would say that the pacing is a little rough, due mostly to the slow pace of the monsters, themselves. The main thought for the first half of the book is that if the main character does get captured by any of these creatures, it would be a silly mistake that would only immensely frustrate the reader. The events also take a long time to unfold once the initial shock from the discovery of the monsters takes place. There are several characters that are well written, but their interactions are difficult to care about as the action is a bit dull.
Overall, this novel provides plenty of tension and suspense through the monsters that have invaded New York. While the reader may want to experience more suspense and action, the author seems to be in this story for the long game, taking his time to develop the characters and to develop the rapidly evolving monsters. This series will be more entertaining the longer one reads, so don’t quit if the first hundred pages aren’t enough.