Jesse Jameson and the Curse of Caldazar, by Sean Wright

Review by Steve Dean Jesse Jameson is a fairy. No, I'm not name calling, it's true. This is book three in the series, aimed at children eight years old and up. I must admit to not having read the other two, but on this evidence I have no regrets.


Firstly then, this is not a standalone book, but one of a series. It soon shows, as the characters are minimally described, they refer to things that happened in the other books, and have items and powers from who knows where. There are far too many characters in the book for it’s length, 150 pages or so, a two hour read. The descriptions are minimal, even for the locations new to the characters.

Writing for children is no easy thing. Thinking you can just put down anything and the kids won’t notice is a mistake. For instance, the first page is repeated again later in the book, with a few words changed and moved around. One of the characters enters an aerial battle and some of the combatants fall to their knees! An egg containing two trapped witches appears in Jesse’s bedroom from nowhere, just so she can be put in peril.

And what is it with magic powers? Jesse has the ability to change into a dragon, except when the plot says she can’t. A powerful wizard who can create great tables groaning with food out of nothing can’t fly over a forest but has to go through it, but still loses Jesse later on, despite the fact that the forest is where he trained as a young wizard. And my particular favourite, Jesse is captured by a witch and is about to be killed, when a giant appears and rescues her. The giant is said to be taller than the trees and each step he takes is like an earthquake! But no one saw or heard him approach?

These are just a few of the logical inconsistencies, there are many more for those who can be bothered to look.

To sum up then, a dull plot is further degraded by flaws in the logic and far too many deus-ex-machina. The writing is clumsy, the characters one-dimensional and pacing none existent. The cover proclaims it as a modern classic. For modern read dumbed down, for classic read unoriginal.

Whilst researching the other books in the series I came across a few references to and comparisons with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. I laughed out loud. If HP is a meal in a three star restaurant, this book is second rate fast food.

And don’t get me started on the cover!

Published By Crowswing Books.

About Stephen Theaker (306 Articles)
Stephen Theaker's reviews, interviews and articles have appeared in Interzone, Black Static, Prism and the BFS Journal. Among other work for the BFS, he has been awards administrator, short story competition administrator, Dark Horizons editor, FantasyCon secretary and treasurer, and (briefly) chair.