'Curse of the Mudchalk Devil'
By: Phil Lanzon - Pegasus Publishers, £8.99.
Description: When an inquisitive and determined young girl discovers she can see music as well as hear it, she uses this power to destroy the curse of disharmony engulfing her world.
Elin is to assist in her father's illusionist show, but the disastrous events of that night sets her on a journey that would test the stamina of any human.
Reluctantly, she accepts the persistent help of a boy from her class and they enter a wondermus, fantastical world from which they may never return the same.
Will her gift change anything?
Verdict: Well, for those not in the know, author Phil Lanzon is a musician (keyboardist for Uriah Heep since 1986) who writes songs and stories, forever searching the far corners of imagination to find unchartered waters.
He's toured the world with his music many times and seen much of life in all its diverse, deranged, endearing dimensions. He has three children, nine grandchildren, and two GREAT granddaughters and lives at the edge of the universe in east Kent with his partner, Patina.
Here in his first novel, 'Curse of the Mudchalk Devil,' Lanzon brings forth the transcription of an earlier screenplay he had long ago written.
During a Scandinavian tour in February 1999, Lanzon began to write short stories to kill wasted time on the road and even self-published a collection entitled 'Strange and Wondermus Stories.'
Over the new decade he would go on to perfect one of those stories which he turned into a screenplay. He even got it read by a Hollywood producer, but as with most things Hollywood nothing came of it.
However, the story itself has now raised it's Devilish head once again in the form of this debut paperback novel, 'Curse of the Mudchalk Devil.'
This fiction book is about a young girl who can see as well as hear music and who ultimately uses her gift to combat her biggest troublemaker … the aforementioned Mudchalk Devil!
Specifically written for children and teenagers, renaissance man Lanzon (who has also just released a stunning new sophomore solo album entitled 48 Seconds) not only wrote the novel, but has also illustrated it (complete with a vibrant cover art designed by Tony Mayor) has created a magnificently compassionate story chock full of both adventure and suspense.
With an opening Dedication to all the mistreated, unloved and unlistened-to children of the world, the story opens with Elin Boneti daydreaming through her math class.
Wondering aloud to her teacher If you could see music what would it look like?, together with her teachers concerns for her mental health along with derision from her class mates, Elin resigned herself to the fact that maybe she didn't belong.
The book quickly picks up pace with the discovery of an old book ('A Broughtonsea History') that reveals a local shrine where once an immortals' battle had taken place between good and evil, mysterious visions at her local seaside lookout (aptly named Devil's Lookout), and then come some most fantastical adventures for both teens and young adults to enjoy.
Personally, and being an avid reader (of actual paperback books rather than anything Kindle associated), I found 'Curse of the Mudchalk Devil' to be engrossing from the very off.
It doesn't labor in the slightest on the quiet moments, such as the initial origin story of Elin, nor the subsequent build up to her self discoveries, nor during the what-can-be always dangerous lead into the last quarter run in, and for that alone I found that the story line together with the readers sense of vicarious adventure never wavers either.
At its heart a tale of a good soul with something precious (Visible Music) beholden to them that is desperately wanted by a bad entity (the Mudchalk Devil), Lanzon's debut novel may well have been 20 years in the making, but trust me when I say that reading it is like a breath of fresh air within this industry.
Official 'Curse of the Mudchalk Devil' Book Purchase Link
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