Xor: The Shape of Darkness by Moshe Sipper
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I’m a boy named Lewis Nash and today is my twelfth birthday.
Upon waking up on his twelfth birthday, Lewis discovers that he can Shape. Before he can really figure out what to do with this new ability, he is whisked away to Xor with a very important mission – saving the planet from the Realm Pirates. With the help of a few new friends, Lewis sets out to do just that.
The reader is thrown into Lewis’s world, abruptly leaving his “home” to a new planet more advanced than Earth, with Artificial Persons, interactive computers, holographs, werewolves, and magic. It seems like a conglomeration of everything tossed into one book, and since Xor isn’t very well-developed, it is hard to see how these all fit together.
The pacing is varied, with some fast sections at the beginning but most of the book being too slow. Lewis asks a lot of questions – which I would assume of a young person – but the questions he asks are either not necessary, not relevant, or not answered. The plot also gets sidetracked at several points, going of on tangents of minimal importance.
The writing itself is simple – perhaps too much so, though it could be good for a younger reader. While Lewis is twelve and should act appropriately, some of the ideas he struggles with seems to imply he is much younger. The repetitive narrative can wear on the reader, causing a lack of interest in what could be a very interesting story.
Hidden within Xor is a growing up story about a young boy forced to face fantastical things and to overcome the sadness inside of himself.
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