Not only does Charlie Human have an awesome name, he also knocks out a pretty impressive bit of fiction. The South African author weaves an absorbing tale of magic existing alongside and within our normal society.
The lead character is Baxter Zevcenko – a sixteen year-old with what can only be described as mixed heritage. In this case though, his heritage is much more mixed than we may be used to. He counts not just ancient Boer mystics, but also giant shape-shifting crows in his bloodline, which might go some way to explaining his occasionally anti-social, bordering on psychopathic behaviour.
Packed off to magical training school, Hexpoort, Baxter finds himself surrounded by others with magical talents. With plenty of nods to the world of Harry Potter – including Baxter being told that to get to the train to Hexpoort he needs to run through a concrete barrier that will disappear (and doesn’t), Hexpoort is a very different place to Hogwarts. Other students make and sell powerful drugs, sex and violence is rampant, and the students find themselves subjected to some military training as well as magical.
An absolute page turner, but probably not ideal for the younger Harry Potter fans – the sex and violence might shock and appall some, but it makes for compulsive reading!