Monday, September 18, 2006

The Seventh Mountain

The Seventh Mountain, by Gene Curtis has been labeled by some as a Christianized version of Harry Potter and given the many obvious similarities, this may be with good reason. The story revolves around Mark Young who is to become a very important member of the mystical group known as the Magi. This is an unveiled reference to the Magi or "Wise Men" from the bible, but Mr. Curtis has endowed them with further mystical powers and a hidden society with seven schools on seven mountains. This parallel with biblical Magi trails away to the Potter arena by these things and the exploration of them throughout the story. I must say that I was disappointed with the story, which seemed promising with its hook on the Potter-esque, but it failed to deliver the goods. For one, the first few chapters are completely non-grabbing and these are some of the most important to pull the reader in. Another problem that I had was that the school itself is supposed to be mystical and oozing with ancient culture and supernatural happenings, but the reader is continually tripped up by the references to paying for the school with a bank account, the selling of school books in a regular old college style bookstore where normal kid tech like video games and cd players and stuff is also sold--basically the school appears to have a mall in it where sword and sorcery combine with the trappings of 21st century adolescence. It seemed like a very forced mix and not in tune with the story. But abiding these problems, the story spends most of its time engaging with school bullies and hanging out with friends rather than any real conflict with the Antagonist, a prime evil spirit that wants Mark's special sheperds staff for his own and the boy out of his way. Any conflict between the two is short lived and only comes in the very last chapter or two and it turned anticlimatic to boot. The self published LULU novel, The Seventh Mountain is a reasonably entertaining story for the YA crowd, but it lacks the kind of depth and drive I was hoping to see from it.

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