Review: Tommy Black and the Staff of Light

Tommy

  • Author: Jake Kerr
  • ISBN: 9780692316665
  • Publisher: Currents & Tangents Press
  • Genre: Middle-Grade Urban Fantasy

I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tommy Black is just a kid living in New York with his grandfather, Declan.  At least that’s what he thinks, until they are attacked by magical creatures, Shadows, and his grandfather fights back with his cane.  The cane is really a magical staff that has been passed down from one person to the next in Tommy’s family.  His grandfather gives him the staff and orders him to escape.  Tommy barely gets away with his life and the staff and doesn’t know what has happened to his grandfather, but Tommy knows in his heart that he’s still alive.  Now, Tommy must save him.

I enjoyed reading this book for more than it being an exciting, adventurous Fantasy story.  Tommy ends up meeting a girl, Naomi, who is better at magic than most who have trained for years.  However, this being set right before World War II, she comes up against sexist ideas about what girls can and can’t do throughout the story.  She’s constantly underestimated by everyone, except Tommy, but they pay the price for their narrow mindedness.  I find it refreshing to read a Fantasy story, especially a middle-grade one, in which sexism is faced without being preachy or accepted and allowed to go without remark of any kind.

The book journal I use to write down notes and thoughts about my review books has a rating scale from 1 to 10 for various elements of the story, such as quality of writing, pace, characters, etc.  I marked a 9 or 10 for every single element.  I highly recommend Tommy Black and the Staff of Light to Fantasy lovers of all ages, especially if you enjoy Urban Fantasy.