book review

Book Review: Destruction (Book One of The December People Series) - by Sharon Bayliss

8:05 PM

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

David Vandergraff tries to be a good husband and father. He has a loving wife and three children, two boys and one girl. But that isn't his only family. David's second family went missing eleven years ago and has been trying to find them ever since. For eleven years, he waits for just one phone call to tell him his missing kids are fine. And he it finally gets the call. Wanting things to be the way they should, David is prepared to bring his kids home, even though his wife has no clue they even exist. Traumatized to learn that his new found kids had been suffering years of mental and physical abuse, and even witnessed their mother die at the hands of their stepfather, David is ready to give the kids their space and give them the care they deserve, even if that means he has to play along with their dark wizard fantasy. It is just a means of coping after all, isn't it. Dark wizards are obviously not real. Or are they?

Destruction written by Sharon Bayliss is the first book in her series The December People. It also happens to be a very distinctive spin off on dark wizards and is written in third person point of view. The characters are being followed are David, an extremely confused father, and Patrick, the confused father's second eldest son. Considering the fact that it was a spin off on dark wizards, the way the plot was played out was kind of realistic. They had a mostly normal family that did mostly normal things in a hopefully completely normal Texas.  

Before beginning, I would like to clarify that there are no spells, owls, house elves, wands, Hogwarts, or Neville Longbottom.  

What really draws a reader into Destruction is its very different take on wizards in general. I don't want to give too much away, but I'll just say that the dark wizards are not said to be dark wizards because they're evil. They are said to be 'evil' because of the limits put on them due to them being dark wizards. Also, a person cannot choose to be what kind of wizard they are. That's all I'm saying, but you can read the book if you want to find out more.

Very early on in the book, every character seemed to have very well defined personalities. It was handed to the reader on a silver platter in detail. And what was told to the reader about the characters proved to be true by their actions later on in the stories, sometimes to extreme levels. There was the perfect amount of mix between the flat and round characters. I really liked how I expected certain characters to act a certain way and was surprised when they didn't. It felt like I had known the characters for a good few years and that I'd been a quiet observer of this very family. I just knew what Amanda, the mother, would do when she wakes up or when Jude, the eldest brother, was upset. The author did a really great job with the characterizations of each and every single one of the characters.

Destruction also has realistic characters. As I was reading, I remember thinking how much I disliked Amanda. Not because of her actions, but because of her reasoning behind her actions. But when I kept reading, I couldn't help but realize how real she is. She acts the way a wife and mother would really act. The amount of tolerance she had for what was going on was admirable, but she also had limits as to what she would and wouldn't allow in the house. She was not ready to be the type of woman to be stepped on. Everything about her was very mother-like. Her patience was present, but limited. She had her good days, and she had her stressed out low-on-caffeine bad days.

To me, Destruction was an introductory book to the series. When I say this, I mean the entire book served as an introduction to The December People. The reason I say this is because I did not really recognize a determined or defined goal for the book. There was the plot, but I did not see what it was aiming for. It was a bit messy and there were plot holes which I hope are acknowledged in the rest of the series because I fully intend on reading it. Something else I noticed as I was reading was that there were scenes that did not do much for the plot and could have easily been replaced with more meaningful scenes that could have given the plot more definition. But again, this is the first book and I have high hopes for the success of the rest of the series.

Destruction is a great book that has a somewhat realistic take on the wizarding world. If your'e expecting an action filled book with spells being shouted left and right, however, this book may not be for you. I do suggest you read the book, and if it does not sound like your cup of tea, you should give it a try because you never know what you might like when it comes to books.

Disclaimer: May contain profane language and/or ideas.

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