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The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance (Candle Man Series #1)
     

The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance (Candle Man Series #1)

4.5 4
by Glenn Dakin
 

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Murder, mystery, and adventure aren’t your typical birthday presents . . .

But for Theo, anything that breaks up his ordinary routine is the perfect gift.
A mysterious “illness” and Theo’s guardians force him into a life indoors, where gloves must be worn and daily medical treatments are the norm. When Theo discovers a suspicious

Overview

Murder, mystery, and adventure aren’t your typical birthday presents . . .

But for Theo, anything that breaks up his ordinary routine is the perfect gift.
A mysterious “illness” and Theo’s guardians force him into a life indoors, where gloves must be worn and daily medical treatments are the norm. When Theo discovers a suspicious package on his birthday, one person from the past will unlock the secret behind Theo’ s “illness” and change his life forever.

Molded into an exhilarating steampunk adventure that gives birth to the next great fantasy hero, Theo Wickland, Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance is the first book in a trilogy by debut author Glenn Dakin.

Ages 8-12

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This lighthearted, action-driven adventure features a boy with the ability to melt people into puddles of oily slime. Theo has been kept isolated inside a mansion by his guardian for most of his life, fed a diet of millet and greens, and put into a sort of radiation tube each night, ostensibly for his own good. One night, robbers break into the house. Theo discovers his powers when he confronts them and escapes from Empire Hall. He learns that his guardian is head of a sinister group, The Society of Good Works. The battle between them and the group who rescued Theo, The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance, takes place largely in an underground network of tunnels from the 19th century, complete with garghouls (gargoyles come to life), smoglodytes (creatures who form themselves out of polluted air), and other beings. Theo himself has a crucial role to play in this battle. Despite the nominally contemporary setting and the presence of laptops, the story has a decidedly Victorian steampunk feel with its old tunnels and machinery, along with pea-soup fog created by the villains. With the help of a cast of appealing characters, the nonstop action rolls to a satisfying conclusion.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Confined to three rooms for most of his life, Theo finds his situation radically changed after he accidentally melts a burglar on his 12th birthday. Finally free to explore life outside of his prison, Theo joins the Society of Unrelenting Vigilance, a secret society that is dedicated to preventing villains from accomplishing their work-villains who are being led by Theo's one-time guardian, Dr. Saint, under the deliciously doublespeak name of the Society of Good Works. Dakin skillfully brings moral ambiguity into the narrative, giving the writing a more sophisticated flair than standard superhero fare. Fast-paced action, gleefully ghoulish monsters and intrigue keep the narrative flowing. Though amusing, the bumbling villains would be more provocative with a darker edge, one that will perhaps emerge in sequels. Theo's refreshing ignorance of the world successfully engages readers and invokes their sympathy. A bright light in the fantasy genre, this debut novel will leave fans eager for further illumination. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606841365
Publisher:
EgmontUSA
Publication date:
05/25/2010
Series:
Candle Man Series , #1
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
7.68(w) x 5.32(h) x 0.88(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Glenn Dakin has written for many comics and children’s TV shows, including the BBC’ s Shaun the Sheep, for which he won an International Emmy Award; Temptation; and the semi-autobiographical strip Abe. He lives in Cambridge, England.

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The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance (Candle Man Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Theo has never been around more than three people in his life: his guardian, the butler, and the maid. He has been told he has a serious illness, having to be put inside the Mercy Tube every day, always having to wear gloves, and he's never allowed to do anything too exciting for fear of over-stimulation. The truth is much creepier. Theo soon realizes that his guardian is not the good man he believed him to be, and that Theo himself is quite powerful in ways he never knew. CANDLE MAN is a new steampunk series for middle grade readers, with the second book just recently released. Theo is a fun narrator, finding himself as the reader goes along. It's interesting to see how The Society of Good Works is actually a bad group, and just how they disguise their plots as good deeds. It's definitely a lesson in manipulation and secrecy, but good old creepy fun for younger readers! I loved that the book is set in London, as it fits the atmosphere really well and it makes sense that the various creatures, like Gargoyles, could come to life there. One of the most interesting characters was the butler, as he's a bit conflicting. You can't say he's perfectly good, but you can't say he's truly bad like other characters, either. He's certainly a fascinating man to think about. THE SOCIETY OF UNRELENTING VIGILANCE is a quick read overall, and sure to excite fantasy fans!
Galleysmith More than 1 year ago
Candle Man is a great adventure book for young boys and girls alike. Though there are a bevy of characters to wade through and a few are a bit more cliched (at least for the adult reader) than others it is a fun and thrilling ride from beginning to end. In speaking of the characters on in particular, the main foe of the story, Dr. Saint reminded me of the cartoon character Dick Dastardly. I half expected him to twirl the ends of a mustache (which he doesn't have by the way) and cackle "mwuahahahah!". He was, however the right amount of evil for this type of book. His cohort in crime Mr. Nicely was just the right combination of clueless and frightened in order to be appropriately manipulated by his master. Clarice, on the other hand was a surprise. One that I'll refrain from sharing with you so it doesn't spoil the story. The combination of mystical creatures, folklore and Theo's history as well as the use of advanced technology for the time gave this book a very steampunk vibe. I think it will certainly open the eyes of any child who reads it to that particular category of books. There was a definite dark, murky and foggy feeling to the book though it was not depressing. It certainly lent itself well to the air of mystery. For that reason, even though it got slightly predictable (again for the adult reader), the twists and turns were enjoyable and certainly well structured for the target audience. There was definitely plenty of action to be had. Having a strong boy and equally strong girl as main characters will make this a book that both genders can enjoy. I do, however, think boys will enjoy it more. The first in a series, Candle Man was an enjoyable read, one that I think middle-graders will want to read through until the final chapter of the final story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance is the first book of a trilogy by Glenn Dakin. The hero of the story is Theo, all his life he has been kept indoors and isolated by everyone because of a mysterious "illness". Soon he is rescued by the Society of unrelenting vigilance and starts questioning the few people and the life his has always known. When you read this book you will completely escape and feel like your traveling the Network, or fighting "The Dodo" and his rare creatures. Parents and Children will read this book and beg for more.